Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Tale of 3 Races

It was a series within a series... a literal  race marathon yesterday.

My road racing series, the Crossroads of Indiana, hosted it's first Memorial Weekend Family and Fitness Funfest - three races in one day. A memorable day it was! It ended up being a true bonding experience for all of us "Crossroads" runners that made it through the day together. It was a deal too. If you preregistered, it was $15 each for the first two races and $10 for the last race, however if you signed up for all three at once, it was $35 for the day - crazy.

Race #1: Never Forget 4 Mile Trail Run

This started at 8 am in Nashville, IN. This race and the last race of the day were benefits for Elder Heart. From their website ...

Elder Heart is a Veteran organization that does community projects as well as public private and corporate art to raise awareness for the 22 Veteran suicides that occur every day. Our purpose is to employ and empower Veterans while raising this awareness.

Elder Heart also donated two absolutely beautiful tomahawks that are handmade by Veterans that were awarded to the male and female winners of this race. They sell these on their website.

I want one!

We got our race packets for the day that included all our bibs and this T-shirt...

There were 57 runners in the race and the first mile went straight uphill. The course was just ridiculous! After the uphill climb, it went up and down... I usually let gravity take me and fly on the downhills. On one of the earlier downhills though I lost complete control and went flailing down, arms waving wildly in the air and legs just all over the place. There was a woman in front of me and I thought I was going to mow her down. I couldn't even scream. I think I just made some guttural half scream half grunting noise as I flew past her. I cannot believe I didn't face plant but I ended up at the bottom still on my feet. I ran pretty conservatively for the rest of the race after that!


Most of us ended up walking the steep uphills. I half walked the downhills too since half of them ended in creeks - creeks that you had to run through. I was happy to make it to the finish in one piece!

The actual race was 4.1 miles.
Mile 1 - 10:38
Mile 2 - 10:21
Mile 3 - 12:51
Mile 4 - 11:26
last 0.1 - 0:28 (??)

I ended up running 45:44 (11:09 pace). That was good enough for 23rd overall, 3rd overall in the women's race (darn it! no tomahawk), and 1st in the 40-49 age group.

There was some confusion after the race. There was nothing at the finish line. Not even water. The race info for the weekend said their would be age group awards for each race (since not everybody was doing all three races today), then there was suppose to be an awards ceremony at the end of the day for the whole series. Finally we were told there would be no awards after this race as most of us had to get to Seymour, IN, which is about an hour away, for the next race that started at noon. Plus, understandably, the race director had to clean up everything from this race and get stuff set up at the next race so I don't think he had time to get everything tabulated in that amount of time.

Race #2: One Team, Best Health 5K
This was sponsored by a company called Aisin. It is the first year for this race and they went all out! Apparently their employees got some kind of health insurance discount for participating. The Crossroads runners showed up and found ourselves outnumbered by Aisin employees and their family members (all in blue T-shirts). There were race banners. There was food - like real food - Subway sandwiches, full size bottles of Gatorade, bananas, granola bars, and even a snow cone table. They even gave everyone a medal in the finish chute!

There were 235 runners in this race. It was brutally hot with no shade anywhere. I felt like crap as soon as I started running. Originally I was going to try an 8:00 pace, then it became 8:15, then I was hanging on to the thought of 8:30.

Mile 1 - 8:23
Mile 2 - 8:33
Mile 3 - 8:29
last 0.1 - 0:34 (??, mile times might be off, Garmin says I ran 3.11 miles though so total is right)

Official finish time - 25:59 (8:21 pace). Ended up 35th overall, 5th in the women's race, and 1st in the 40-49 age group.

Again there was confusion after this race. Obviously most of these 235 people were not going to end up at the third race. Was there going to be an awards ceremony? Plus they were suppose to give away two $100 and one $50 Blue Mile gift cards after this race in a drawing. The race brochure did not say you had to be present to win but most of milled around for over an hour after the race to see what would happen. Finally someone said they were going to do the gift card drawing soon. I ran to the bathroom. When I came out, everyone was leaving and said they had already had the drawing. There were no awards.

The final race was in Columbus, IN at 5 pm. I went to my in-laws house in Columbus after the second race to shower and change clothes. It was the longest break between races and I had to get out of my sweaty clothes and get my feet up for awhile. I felt like I was overheating. Fueling was starting to become a problem because I was too hot to eat.

Race #3: Memorial Mile
One more mile! My legs were dead by now. So were everyone else's. We all made it to the picnic shelter at Donner Park in Columbus that had been reserved for our group and commiserated together. The race director had been able to tabulate our cumulative times from the first two races by now so we could see our standings.

The women's leader's cumulative time was 64:19. I was second at 71:44. Third place was 73:19. I was obviously not going to make up 7 minutes in a mile race so I figured out I was running for second. I was pretty sure I could keep second as long as I didn't completely die... but the possibility of crashing was there... plus the third place runner was 17 years old and I only had 1:35 on her.

My other "problem" was that I had to be at work in Martinsville, IN by 7 pm. I would have to drive 45 minutes home to Greenwood, shower/change, then drive 20 minutes to Martinsville. I thought I was running at 5 pm. Then they announced that there would be three heats. Heat #1 was for the 4-5-6 minute milers. Heat #2 was for the rest of the runners. Heat #3 was for the walkers. My heat was suppose to start at 5:15. Rut roh!

There were 61 runners total. The women's leader lined up as the only woman in heat #1. I considered joining her since, initially, I had hoped for a sub-7:00 mile when I first signed up but I quickly talked myself out of it. There was no way I was running sub-7:00. I was going to be happy with anything under 8:00.

The runners in the first race were amazing. The winner ran 4:39. There were 6 guys under 5:10. The woman finished in 6:44 which was second to last in that heat.

In our heat, I got passed by a 12 year old at around the half mile mark but I had run ahead of her all day so I just let her go. The 17 year old came up on my shoulder around that time too but I was able to drop her. I raced some guy stride per stride for close to the last 200 yards but outkicked him in the end. I ended up running 7:44. That put me 25th overall, 3rd in the women's race, 1st in the 40-49 age group.

I ran straight to the car and drove home. My family had met me at the park for the final race and I left them in charge of picking up any awards. My husband says the awards went on forever but that they never gave out separate awards for the different races. All they did were the overalls for the day and the overall age group awards for the day and brought this home for me...

First Place 40-49 age group medal.
 I finished second Overall Female for the day.

Would I do this again? Definitely! Crossroads actually put on a big cookout after the final race with burgers, hotdogs and sides - all included in your registration fee. I didn't get to hang out because I had to go to work but I'd love to next year. There were 46 runners total that made all three races. It was truly a bonding experience. I also made my goal of racking up some points. I ended up with 24 points total. Since I can't race every race in the series, this will provide me with some "cushion" for the rest of the year. I'm pretty sore today but it was so worth it!

1 comment:

  1. You are awesome! Simply wow...amazing! You inspire me! :)