Today was a good day for a run. We got up early to get ready. We were both really tired for some odd reason, but we had paid our money and we were going to go run darn it! We strapped on the ipods and the garmin and we were off! After a quick stop for energy drinks it was up the road to Lovejoy. It was really close to the house, and that alone was nice - but seeing the organization of the race made it even nicer!
When we drove up there must have been 8 - 10 people directing traffic through the parking lot making sure everyone got parked in the correct area. Then it was off to the center courtyard where pre- and post- race activities would be held. It was nicely set up - and made for an ease of race day registration, listening to music and announcements, etc.
When it came time for our run to start (after the 1 mile run) it was a very efficient start. There was someone at the start line reminding everyone that the very start was for the elite runners who would be running a 6:30 or less time, and to place yourself accordingly - to stay on the sidewalk until the elite runners got into place. Rick and I walked to the middle of the pack - which is about where I need to be :) .
The gun went off right on time and we were off! The course took us across the parking lot to the main road, up a mild hill to the turn, along this country road where you could see lots of trees, a pond, a few houses, etc. and back the same way. There was a good water stop with lots of volunteers placed about 1.25 miles in on both sides of the road so you could stop both going out and coming back. The course was pretty flat.
I started out a little faster than I normally do - probably because of the cooler temps. My first mile was completed in 9:33! This is one of my fastest mile times since we came back to running! The other nice part of this was that when I got close to the turn-around Rick wasn't too far ahead of me. I think he was really surprised to see me that close to the turn-around. We high fived as he went by and I just tried to keep my pace going. My second mile was done in 10:27 - and that was with a slow walk through the water stop...by that time I was starting to feel the run, but I was pretty determined that I was going to have a better time this race. I was still feeling it the last 1/2 mile, but I was plugging along when out of nowhere I got the "heaves"...I thought I was going to lose it on the track. within .2 miles of the finish I had to stop and walk...Rick caught sight of me and urged me on and I did jog over the finish and had a respectable 31:34 finish to take 5th in my age group. After I caught my breath we took our stuff back to the car. I asked how he had done because I lost him after mile 2. He finished with a great 28:27! He just keeps getting better and better - I am soooo proud of him! After we checked our times we headed to the cafeteria for a wonderful pancake breakfast that was paid for by our entry fee.
This was a well organized, very enjoyable race. Everything had been thought out in advance, the signage was well placed, but most important EVERYONE, from the folks in the parking lot to the volunteers serving the pancakes were very friendly and helpful! This is for sure a race I will look forward to doing again next year to see if I can get that time down a little more!