We were downtown about 6:30 for the 7:30 am start of the 4 mile race. I lined up in corral C and waited for the start - it was very chilly (40s) but perfect running weather if you ask me! They start the race with a canon and we were off. My only real complaint was trying to squeeze through the "start arch" they had set up - it was significantly narrower than the road we were lined up on. I didn't have any goals for this race, I was running it in conjunction with the later race more as a way to get my training miles in than anything.
That being said, I started out a bit faster than I intended, not a "fast" pace but faster than the 9-10 minute miles I had figured I would run. Being that I was in a front corral, there wasn't a whole lot of weaving after the first few minutes. I was passing people pretty much constantly - as mile two clicked off I decided I was going to hold onto the speed as long as I could.
As I entered the stadium and saw the finish line I decided to put it all out there, which is very difficult given the surface - I find it very difficult to get traction and felt my feet slip with nearly every step. I crossed the finish line proud of myself for leaving it all on the course the last two miles.
Mile 1: 8:15
Mile 2: 7:59
Mile 3: 7:55
Mile 4: 7:27
Last .1: 27 seconds if my math is correct*
Official Time: 32:03
Age Group Finish: 4 out of 244
Gender Finish: 21 out of 2158
Overall Finish: 96 out of 3196
*I forgot to stop my garmin, so I subtracted miles 1-4 from official time
The downside to all of this is I came in 4th in my age group. Now, don't get me wrong, fourth is FANTASTIC, but I was so close to 3rd and if I had any clue I had a chance at placing I know I could have run the first two miles faster and probably taken 2nd or 3rd place. There were only 14 seconds between myself and 2nd place! Ah well, next time! I also won't look up race results online between races if I do this again - sort of psyched me out for the next one.
I ran to my van and switched shirts and bibs to get ready for the 10k that was to take place at 9 am. One last visit to the port-a-potty and I got into corral D to prepare myself mentally for the next "race." Again, this wasn't meant to be a race, more so just miles. I actually lined up at the back of corral D hoping to run this a bit more conservatively.
Again, we started with a canon and we were off through the crowded "arch" - I said good luck to a friend and started on my way. I am terrible with remembering specifics from the course, but somewhere in the first mile there was a large, very encouraging group of individuals from a charity raising money for Congo. They played music and cheered on the runners. I believe also in the first mile or so was a clown juggling plungers - yes, toilet plungers.
Other than that I don't remember much, the 1.25 or so miles and the last 2 miles were the same course I had run earlier for the 4 mile. This was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it was hard to not having something new to look at to keep my mind off the miles but on the other it was nice to know exactly how far I had left to go!
One other "highlight" of this race (as well as the 4 mile) - towards the end, about 1.5 to 1 mile before the end there was a great neighborhood that decorated the streets with paint, had tons of people out cheering, people dressed up, and even beer shots (not that I took any). It was nice to have that encouragement towards the end. That's about it... for my reference, splits are as follows:
Mile 1: 9:06
Mile 2: 8:54
Mile 3: 8:49
Mile 4: 8:46
Mile 5: 8:52 (curse you, I was so close to having negative splits for both races)
Mile 6: 8:33
Last .32: 2:10 (again, assuming my math is correct) *course measured a bit long again
Official Time: 55:12
Age Group: 14 out of 183
Gender: 81 out of 1216
Overall: 269 out of 1801
Up next, a 16 miler on the schedule for this weekend.. I am TERRIFIED! Any pointers on how to make it a successful run?