Who in their right mind signs up for a race in summer?! This girl! When I signed up a month before we had nice cool temps and my brain was not even thinking that 80+ degree temps at 8am would even be possible. Boy was I wrong!
So why did I really sign up?
A Brighter Path 10K raises awareness to the needs of the blind and visually impaired in Winston Salem and they it supports the Industries for the Blind. My grandmother was visually impaired. She suffered from macular degeneration which essentially stole her central vision leaving just her peripheral vision. I raised money to support a cure back when I did my first half marathon in 2009 and I was so thrilled to find a race locally.
My friend, Christie, runs a race a month so she joined me for this one. We headed to Winston bright and early Saturday morning in order to get to the race to pick up our tees and bibs. Once we got there, we realized that we were starting right near where we run Mistletoe half in December. We were happy to have an idea of the course we would be running. We grabbed our goodies. I was a bit disappointed that when we picked up our bibs, they were out of our sizes for the shirts. I still don’t understand how pre-registered runners do not get the right size shirts. After having helped direct a race, you always pull the shirts for the pre-registered runners. Any shirts leftover go to walk ups/day of registrations. Christie and I ended up with XL shirts. Ugh.
We headed back to the car to Glide up. This kind of weather (hot and humid) means chafing for us both! We hit the potty line twice and warmed up with the group dynamic exercises. We lined up at 8:15am and the race started shortly after. This race was run only on gun time so we made sure we knew to start our watches right at the horn. Around 8:18am, we wished each other good luck and we were off! The race started just a few minutes late due to the 1 mile fun run taking a bit longer than expected.
The course was two loops of the same course. My goal was to run the first loop well and to run the second loop smart, knowing where to push and where to hold. My only goal based on the weather alone was to finish under an hour. Right off the start, it was uphill. A slow grade climb for the first 1.5 miles. I looked down right at the start and realized that I was running about an 8:30 pace and I didn’t want to take the first mile that fast so I slowed up and tried to keep about a 9:15 pace. I finished the first mile dead on, 9:16!Right on cue, it switched to downhill and I went. I kept it still conservative knowing that I still had 4 more miles left. I ran mile 2 in 8:49 and took advantage of the flatter course and pulled up to 8:30 for mile 3. The uphill starts right when we start heading back to the start. I caught up to this cute little man who I chatted with as we climbed up the hill. I bid him farewell when he stopped at the water stop at the halfway point. My goal for the second time up this 1.5 mile climb was just not to walk. I still felt pretty good, so I just kept it easy-ish on the climb knowing I just had to make it to mile 5 and it would be all downhill again. I finished mile 4 at 9:21 pace, a little slower than the first time through but I was pleased that I kept my pace under 9:30.
Right at 4.5 miles, I see Christie at the water stop just ahead. I stop for a quick drink and walked just for a minute. We hook up and ran together for the last mile and a half. We push the last uphill half mile to get to mile 5 and start the nice downhill section again. Even with a short walk break, I finished the uphill at 9:15. I still was feeling really good and figured to go on the next mile. I’d only have .25 of a climb at the end to the finish line and I thought it was better to go hard now knowing I’d slow up a bit going up the hill. I ran mile 6 as the fastest of the day at 8:26 pace! Bam! We brought it home for the last .2 and finished in 56:02.
We grabbed some Gatorade and talked with some of the ladies that were right near us for parts of the race. They posted the results shortly after and I went over to see how we did. And there it was! Christie and I had both finished 2nd in our age groups!!! I ran over to where she was and shared the news! The other 10K runners were finishing up and the awards ceremony started shortly after. All age group winners received the coolest piece of pottery! I absolutely love it! I’m a huge fan of practical awards.
For me, this one is all about the charity involved with the race! I am so happy to have been able to run a local race that supports a cause that is important to me. The course was actually a really good one, even with the 3 miles of total climbing, the 3 miles of down hill to flat was good. The pre-race warm-up was fun! The volunteers and fellow runners were so nice! We met some really nice ladies and enjoyed chatting with them post-race. There was a ton of post race food and drinks! The awesome age group awards!
Not having race shirts for pre-registered runners just gets me! Huge pet peeve of mine with races! Given the hotter than usual temperatures, I wished they had Gatorade out on the course and cold wet rags available at the finish line.
Looking for more running-related posts:
- Check out Tuesdays on the Run by visiting Run the Great Wide Somewhere, MCM Mama Runs, and No Guilt Life.
- Head over to Race Recap linkup at The Silvah Lining, Taking the Long Way Home, and Uptite Mamas.
See what other runner’s are sharing!
Go be awesome! 🙂
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