Otherwise known as "It's my glass now, I keep it!!!"
So they gave out glasses instead of mugs....I am okay with that...This report may run long, I am warning you ahead of time!
Now for the meat and potatoes!!!
The weather forcast was less than favorable and waking up race morning the weatherman actually got one right this time...Way to go Pat Prokop...
It was raining and in the low 40's when I woke up. Not to be discouraged, weather channel's website said the rain was supposed to lift by 8am. Just in time for the race.
I headed to the start and got on the trolley be taken over the bridge to the start of the 5k. It was cold and wet. However, my spirits were high, I had a double pump to run. The hotel I work for is on the island where the race starts so I ducked into the office to stay warm and dry until 15 minutes before the race. I changed my shoes, had a small cup of coffee and tried to calm the pre race jitters. I really didn't know what to expect, do I hold back for the 5k to save a little gas for the 10k? Is the 15 minute break gonna cause me to get cold and stiff?
I headed to the start with about 2000 other runner/walkers and before I knew it I was off.
I settled into a comfortable pace, tried to run at 75-80%. Five minutes into the run the rain stopped and never returned! On my way up the bridge and caught myself thinking, "What a dumbass, I have to do this two more times?" I pushed out the negative thought with my standard, "Seven minutes to the top, Thomas. Then it is smooth sailing back down."
Cresting the bridge on my first pass, I saved my usual, "Get off me bridge!" taunt. I didn't want to anger my foe so early in the battle. I looked up and saw another runner from my Sunday running group and we chatted for a minute on the way down. I, being far heavier, let gravity go to work and pulled ahead from her, only to have her catch me and pass me in the last 1/4 mile. Coming into the last turn I saw the clock hit 27 and I cruised in for a 27:27 5k.
413/2188 5k runners
Quick to grab some water and eat the Powerbar that was in my pocket, I headed over to the start area where about 1500 runners were preparing for the 10k start.
I had 15 minutes to get my heart rate down and keep loose. I felt really good and was happy to run into another couple of Sunday runners who were doing the 10k. Rob was hoping to break an hour, I silently decided I would keep him behind me...
After announcing a joint race run simultaniously in Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan(Those soldiers ran their 10k on a 1/4 track loop!), they played the national anthem and we were off!
My goal was to hold down 9's for as long as possible. The first mile was a loop around downtown, pulling us to the onramp for the bridge.
WTF!?!? Who put these bricks on top of my quads??? That first mile sucked! LOL! My legs were heavy and my right quad was very angry!!!
As I approached the bridge one of two things happened. Either my legs loosened back up or the pain of climb became greater that the pain of my quads being tight...
From weeks of training on this route I knew this half mile section was the toughest(Steepest)portion of the entire race course. "Fast, Fluid, Form" Take me to the top buddy!
I crested the bridge for a second time and knew I was almost through with the battle....It's all academic from here! LOL...
Did I mention there was a costume contest?
That's me on the left and that look says, "I can't believe it took me this long to pass those Horseshoe Crab runners!"
According to my splits I was pacing just over 9 minute miles. I saw Rob ahead of me on the downhill and opened up a little to catch up to him. We exchanged grunts and I surged ahead. Coming off of the bridge we looped back under to the other side. The was about 1/2 a mile in the flat until we would be going back up. Rob passed me in the flat but I let him go, I knew he wouldn't be able to keep that pace on the last climb.
The last trip over was governed by Crackhead's mantra. "Fast, Fluid, Form." Every left step "Fast" "Fluid" "Form" Before I knew it I was halfway up and had already caught Rob and was reeling in a lot of runners. I resisted the urge to tell them this was my third trip over the bridge...
"GET OFF ME BRIDGE!" I yelled as I crested The Eugene Talmidge Memorial Bridge for the third and final time.
I opened my stride and felt like I was flying down the bridge. I knew I could run reckless until right before the off ramp and then I would need to reel it in and get my running in check for the final hill...sneaky, sneaky; most runners don't know about this hill! After you come off the bridge you loop under and there is this 1/4 mile that you don't feel in your car. After running five miles of the 10k course, you definately feel it!
I was gassed but was in the final mile so I laid it all out there. I saw my buddy Seth ahead of me and tried my best to catch him. I was only passed twice in the final 1/4 mile. Push hard for the final 800 yards, "two laps around the track Thomas"
697/1458 10k runners
Total time 1:25:43
Total miles 9.3
22/41 in my AG
211/349 overall Double Pumpers
I got my glass....thank you very much, runner # 1247, where ever you are!
I can't wait until next year. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.