Pace: 6:28 mpm
This was quite a fun event, as Danielle (1st place female, 4th overall), Anthony (2nd place male) and Shannon (3rd place female) also ran the race. I didn’t see them until just before the race began, as I was already at the starting line warming up and stretching. Anthony has been winning quite a few races lately, but this is the first time we’ve gone head-to-head in quite some time. Thus, words of encouragement (“You’re on fire!”) turned to lighthearted trash talk (“You’re going down!”). He’s a nice guy, and was up for the ribbing.
Anthony: My bib number is 1. I’m going to win this race. I’m finishing in first place.
Paul: My bib number is 11. That’s 2 ones. I’m going to win it this year–and next year, too!
Danielle: Oh, Paul! You’re so mean!
(Photos courtesy of Shannon Johnstone)
The race started a few minutes past 8:30, and I led from the start to the finish. It was quite a challenging course, but, having run it many times, I knew what I was up for. Course was out and back, starting at Reedy Creek Lake Trail (at Loblolly), going by Reedy Creek Lake, right on to Reedy Creek, left at South Turkey Creek to North Turkey Creek and then, obviously, in reverse. It was hilly, very hilly.
As this was a training run for the upcoming ultra, I set the following goals:
1. Go out strong to put as much distance as I could between the pack and myself.
2. Run every tangent.
3. Switch handheld bottle from hand to hand every mile.
4. Relax shoulders every mile.
I accomplished all four goals. I also wanted to finish less than 67 minutes, a reasonable goal for the course. I’m not sure if the course was indeed 10 miles, as my Forerunner total was 9.7, but the turnaround was at 4.95. Not very reliable, huh?
As the first mile was downhill, I ran it in 5:27. Anthony was just about 20 seconds behind. I ran steadily and easily, and didn’t push myself very hard. At the turnaround, Anthony was about 40 seconds behind, and Danielle was running with the eventual 3rd place finisher. At about the 6.5 mile mark (the long, straight section of Turkey Creek that runs parallel to Ebenezer Church Rd.), I looked back at didn’t see Anthony at all. I eased up a bit, and ran the remainder of the race at a very comfortable pace.
I saw Brian, Danielle’s soon-to-be husband and my running partner, on his bike with about 1.5 miles to go, and let him know that Danielle was just a little ways back. As I was running up Reedy Creek Lake Trail, there was a rather large black snake slithering across the road. It was at least 4’ long. I ran around it, and didn’t look back. My third snake sighting of the season!
I finished the race, got a few drinks of water, and ran back to find and run with Danielle. Brian was riding his bike beside her, so the three of us ran/biked together.
I won a gift certificate to TAF, as well as some other goodies, including a Burt’s Beeswax gift bag.