I got up and started through my usual pre-race issues...bathroom, breakfast, dressing, loading the car. I had toast with peanut butter and raspberries and OJ to drink (still needing to boast the immune system).
It was a quick 25 minute drive to the start at Shawnee State Park. It was rather overcast and cloudy and with the race so close to the water, it felt rather cold. I wore my not-so-tight full length tights and my Under Armor compression top under my wicking long sleeve shirt with my ear bands to keep the cold air off my ears. It seems like a lot for 10 a.m. but I think I am still feeling cold after being sick. (Later in the race I will realize that I had too much on!)
I met up with some friends and get out race packets. This being a benefit race, our packets really are only our bibs and t-shirts. This is a really low, scratch that, no budget event. I snap this quick picture with my new video camera my hubbs got me for my birthday. I am still figuring it out but it seems really convenient.
At the start I am disappointed to see that so few have shown up for the event. Recently we held a "Heathers Cup" foot ball game and it was standing room only. Heather (the local young lady we were benefiting) has made a friendship with some of the Pittsburgh Steelers players.
I actually had concerns that too many people would show up and we'd have problems with the trail being too narrow. That was not the case, with only about 110 finishers there was plenty of room for runners. Maybe the midnight showings of New Moon keep a lot of younger runners in their beds and less than energetic. Still money was raised to help some very deserving families.
As for the actual race, I started close to the front knowing I would hold a pretty fast pace even with my long run last night. I had about 10 girls ahead of me at the start and quickly started ca-chicking them off. At about a half mile I had 4 young ladies, high school track girls, who couldn't figure out what, "passing on your left" meant. Grrrr. As they continued to run four abreast on a narrow trail. I did finally pass them after actually having to touch one of them on the shoulder to get them to move over. Just after the two mile I had taken the lead and really didn't think I had to push to keep it. Little did I know.
The course ended up being a bit long, almost a tenth of a mile! That wasn't enough distance for me because with only about a half mile to go a woman passes me. This is the only section on hard road. She puts a little bit a distance between us and it ends up being just more than I can push. 4 seconds more. We finish 4 seconds apart. I would argue that it was even closer given there was no overhead clock, only a handheld but in reality the difference was probably those 13 miles I just HAD to get in last night. Oh well. With the extra distance I finished 23:31 about 7:22 a mile. Second female and first in my age group. Another little medal for my collection and a great speed workout for my day!
I hope everyone running those BIG races tomorrow has speedy strong feet. Looking forward to reading all those wonderful race reports!