I thought I might not get chicked.
I’ve never avoided getting chicked in a race with official results. I’ve been close – twice I’ve come in ahead of the second place female, but behind the first. I was thinking I had a pretty good shot for most of the race today.
In the end, not only did I get chicked, I also got wienered. Sucks to be me.
The Boss and I did this race last year. The Survivor was there with us, but did not race. There were only 69 finishers in the 2011 version, so I got a good view of all of them as we lined up to start. Off to my right was a kid wearing a hot dog suit, and I took it in mind that I was not going to lose to a frankfurter. And in the end, I kept that promise (Hard to make out the seconds, but a close inspection of the clock shows that I finished first):
Kids get faster, though, and all I’m getting is older, fatter and balder. He wound up cutting some five minutes off his time this time around, and finished comfortably ahead of me.
This time around we set out fast. My watch recorded a maximum pace of 5:11 per mile, but nobody held this too long. Within the first half mile I had settled in with a small group in the low to mid sevens. A couple of young ladies passed me early on, but I went back by them pretty quickly.
The race seemed shorter than it did last year. I’m pretty sure it was the same course, but I think I’m a little fitter this year, so the second half didn’t seem to stretch out so long. All along the course I could hear the girls I’d passed chatting with each other, and I tried to judge my lead by their volume. There are three big hills on the course, including one just before the finish line. On the first two of these my pace plummeted down to the mid eights, and I heard the girls creeping up on me as they nimbly flew up the slopes. I was able to wheeze back out to what sounded like a decent lead on the downs, though.
In the last couple miles I was passed by only one male runner, and I managed in turn to reel a few in. With about three quarters of a mile to go the volume of the voices behind me started creeping insidiously up and I got chicked at about the 4.5 mile mark. I’d already decided that if they passed me there was no point in trying to hang – I knew I’d just fall back on that final hill.
My goal had been to finish under 38 minutes, and as I came up to the finish line I saw that the clock had not yet ticked over to 37:00. A final dash under the arch and I finished in 36:52. A new 5 mile PR for me, but there was one final indignity – I finally managed to finish second in my age group, but the awards only went one deep.
Nothing for it but to get faster, I reckon