I met 3 people in town to carpool to the mountain with... It would be my friend Chris' first race ever... He's been running for years, but never got into racing... I like to think I motivated him to race... he's training for his first FULL, so he thought he'd come out to do this race... the other 2 in the car I had never met...
We drove UP, UP, UP the mountain to about 8600' elevation, then parked the car and took a shuttle van back down the hill 4 miles to the start at 7600'... yep... this was gonna be a 4 mile up-hill race with 1000' climb... the only 'good' part about the race is it's nice weather... 60* to start instead of the usual 110* weather we've been having in town.
So I did a little warm-up, they called us to the start-line, and we were off... I knew the elevation bothered me from the race 2 years ago, and from the marathon that I had ran... but knowing it, and experiencing it are 2 different things... I couldn't MOVE!!!
Mile 1: The first mile was a horrid 14:46... knowing it would just get steeper, I was a bit concerned, but I kept going... I was doing a run/walk... someone in a car pulled up and said they were driving up to the pack, I had no car support... I asked if anyone was behind me, he said yes, one woman... I kept going...
Mile 2: just before the 2nd mile marker, SHIN SPLINTS...WTF??? I thought they were gone!!! I thought about quitting... I thought about sitting on the ground and crying... I knew someone would give me a ride... but I kept on going... when I got to the 2nd mile marker, the clock read 31:xx... I knew my 1:02 was gone...
Mile 3: I walked the WHOLE 3rd mile... by the end of the 3rd mile, my shins were feeling better, and I figure I needed to salvage what I could of this race...the car kept coming to check up on me, and I kept asking if that woman was still behind me.. he assured me that she was.... he was feeding me gatorade too... what a nice man!
Mile 4: back to run/walk... could I actually catch up to the girl in front of me? I had been chasing her the whole way... I finally caught her when we could see the finish line... she was YOUNG...barely a teenager... she of course took off and beat me by a few seconds... then I reached the clock... 1:07:24??? I finished! It was AWFUL, but I finished!!!
The woman that was behind me came in at 1:11 something, I ran her in and thanked her for coming out! They took her picture for the newsletter, and she got all the applause... hey, no fair Actually, she was awesome!!!
So, we go to the awards ceremony... they announce the top runners... The man in our car whom I hadn't met came in 2nd place... of everyone! He got a trophy... did the race in 30 minutes, a 2 min PR for the course, then they announced the woman who drove, she took 2nd place in her AG... then they announce ME... with a time of 1:19:24... WTF??? If last place was 1:11, how did they get my time at 1:19? I happily took the 3rd place medal, and had them correct my time... My friend Chris was the only one in the car who didn't medal... unreal how competitive the 40-44 Mens AG competition is... he had run in 42:xx and didn't place
So, a special thanks to Joanne (Proofreader) who I thought of while I wanted to stop and cry and take a DNF... who I thought of while I was walking as fast as I could to beat that Hour marker... If SHE can do it, if she can beat those wicked Hills that had defeated her in the past, I certainly could finish this race... anyway, thanks
Start of race