Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Clayton Road Race That I Didn't Run Recap

...also known as the race where I inadvertently tried to kill Jeff.  But we'll get to that later.

About ten days ago Jeff got to run the 36th annual Clayton Road Race, which is a 5K that is held in the downtown area of Clayton, NC.  I first heard about this race over a year ago, when Sam started the process of buying his house in Clayton - isn't that what every mother does, investigate the town that their kadult is moving to?  I really wanted to run this race so we planned our trip this year to coincide with the race date, I registered for the race months ago, and well, you know what happened.  I've spent this spring not running races that I registered for, thank you herniated disc.

On race morning we drove to the Clayton City Center, where we picked up our race packets.  The race didn't start until 9:00 am, so we had plenty of time to do this.  We got our t-shirts, which were a nice soft cotton blend:
Front - and now I'm wondering the water tower is as I've never noticed it.
Back - Clayton is celebrating its 150th anniversary and I loved that the shirt included the design commemorating the occasion.

We had plenty of time before the race to enjoy the small-town atmosphere - the setting was so pretty and the weather was beautiful.
Jeff was representing his alma mater, Humboldt State University.
You can't tell, but I was representing the Flyin' Hawaiian 5K, which was the last race I got to run this year.

I wandered around a bit, taking pictures of some of the houses and buildings, and chatting with the locals.
My best shot - this church was built in 1859 and rebuilt in 1912.

Along with the architecture, I saw the age group prizes sitting on a table - hand-thrown mugs made by a local ceramics group.  There were different colors for first, second, and third place, but the mugs in each division were different shapes, depending on who made them.  They were so pretty and this is how I nearly killed Jeff.  Because naturally, after I saw the mugs, I told him that he should try for an age group award - I mean, he's won them several times at home, especially in smaller races like this one, so why not here?
No pressure, but the mugs are cute so run fast, Jeff.
Before the race began - see, not a large race.  Surely Jeff could at least win third place, right?
The race began - looking fast there, Jeff!

While I waited for Jeff to finish, I talked with a few people who were waiting for their runners.  I've been to Clayton twice now and I'm telling you, it is such a friendly town.  I keep saying how charming Clayton is, and really, that's the best descriptor for it.  Soon enough, I spied Jeff cresting the hill before the downhill finish:
See the tiny Jeff?  I used this picture so you could see the runners coming up the hill.  Also if you click on it you can see his face, which is the I'm working really hard here face that I've seen in the past as he's finished some races.
Woohoo, 32 and change - that's got to be good for an age group award for the 60+ group, right?

Well.  After Jeff stopped panting, and after he drank a bottle of water and ate a banana, he told me that this route had steep uphills and steep downhills - and a lot of them.  He said that he never stopped running, not even to grab a drink of water from the aid station, because all he kept thinking was "Shelley told me I needed to try for an age group award" - which is true but I didn't mean for him to nearly kill himself in the process!

We hung around, waiting for the results to be posted.  It didn't take long for the printouts to be taped to the wall, so we went up and checked:
What the what??  Two over-sixty year old men ran this race in 22 minutes!  That is INCREDIBLY fast - shoot, the first place man ran it in 17:54 and the first place woman ran it in 18:58!

So Jeff got tenth place.  You have to laugh - how could we have known that Clayton runners are so dang fast?  That sheet showed partial results; later on the full results were posted online and there were 15 people in his age group.  Oh well, he tried!

We had been planning on running this race together, and Jeff said now that he knows how hard the route is, I'll have to go into it planning on having just a nice, leisurely run, walking whenever I wanted to, because otherwise I'll be frustrated with my performance.  He's right - and I hope I'll get to try out his method at this race in the near future.

18 comments:

  1. As someone who actually socializes in Clayton, I'm shocked there are physically fit people there!! LOL. Though, we do have a 60+ guy in Fuquay that is the most fit I've ever seen. And Fuquay is known for everything but fitness!

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    1. Maybe these guys don't frequent your Clayton hotspots, but there were a bunch of very fit Claytonites! There's a river trail that we heard about from locals that bikers and runners use - next visit we are going to check it out!

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  2. OMG, I am laughing so hard at you killing Jeff. I can't even imagine not having one swig of water. He may not have won the mug but he had to have won your heart for trying to run like an elite runner!
    We have super fast runners around here too. If I ever started racing again, I'd be in my 80s before I had a chance at winning anything.

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    1. I know I'd die trying to run a 32 minute 5K - but 22 minutes?? Incredible, right?!

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  3. I just had to giggle when you said you told him to ‘run fast’. I knew it wasn’t going to go as expected...one of those ‘famous last words’ moments!!! Did you find the potter that made them to go visit their shop???

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    1. The town has a pottery studio at the city center and that's where they came from...just locals who came in and contributed their skills. I wish I could buy one!

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  4. Never underestimate the competition, even in our old people running age groups! I've been completely humbled the past couple of years. Then again, I've gotten some AG awards too. It always depends on who shows up!

    Congrats to Jeff but I'm sorry he didn't get a mug for you. They sure are nice!

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    1. It's incredible how fast some older runners are! I'll have to check finish times for 5Ks around here and see if our oldies stack up to Clayton oldies!

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  5. Those mugs really are pretty! 32 minutes seems incredibly fast to me!

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    1. Me too - even at my best, I've never run a 32 minute 5K!

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  6. He gave it his best shot....and it was pretty dang good! Tell him he's first in our hearts.

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  7. Oh man - those mugs are really cool! Too bad those old guys got them LOL. (Okay, kudos to them, too).

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    1. When we saw the 22 minute finish times, we had to give them kudos - that is fast!

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  8. LOL! Jeff worked so hard! Sorry Jeff, no mug for you!

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    1. I know, it was a shame he worked so hard for nothing! Well, the satisfaction of running a race, but still...

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  9. Take it from me, those OLD farts I mean folks can be very fast. When I win, I always say "it depends on who shows up."

    I would want that mug!!

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    1. The speedy ones show up to this race...but with AG awards like those mugs, who can blame them?

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