Finally getting around to writing a RR for a race that happened two weeks ago. My excuse is I flew to the states the following day and just got back home. Anyway....
A couple coworkers do a little running and told me about a half they were doing that was only about 10 miles away. I fit well into my training plan and would bookend a decent three week training block, so I said sure, why not. My intent was not to race it at all, and simply use it as a nice training run. Since it cost a whopping 8 Euros, not a bad plan. My coworkers were expecting to run 1:45 - 2:00. I figured I could go 1:30 right now if I raced it, but wanted to take it easy and run with those guys just for fun.
We took off a few minutes late because the bike riding guides were late. There were showers on and off going in, but the temps were moderate. Anyway, I hung out with them, and we trudged off about in last place. I think the guy with the yellow bandana was the last one:
I forgot to check what different paces mean for a metric marked course, so I did a little race math in the first kilometer and came up with 5 per k is right at 1:45. We hit the first k marker well into the 6th minute, and the guys were urging me on, so I went ahead and picked up the pace. The course was pretty nice, two loops with a mean climb up into the vineyards between 6k and 8k, leading to a nice downhill finish. I came through the halfway point in 47:42 having passed a multitude of runners. I had already told myself that no matter what, I did not want to be passed by anyone. So going into the second loop, it got a little dangerous as I was now catching people who were running closer to my pace. I tried several times to sit on people and just cruise along, but I always seemed to be trying to go one step faster, so I tended to just pull out and go.
Passed one guy just before the top of the final hill, and he tried to stay with my on the downhill for a bit. So I remembered what I was taught while in the Army in the Blue Ridge Mountains - on the way down gravity is your friend, focus only on getting that next foot back out in front of you. I applied those principles and left him well in the dust. Was able to pass about 100 people and not get passed by anyone. Came across the second loop in 46:25, a bit faster than the first, but was actually about perfect on pace since I was super slow in the opening kilometer. Total time of 1:34:07, not bad for a long run.
Now for the best part. One of my coworkers came in in about 1:50. We stood around talking a bit, then he looked at his watch and said "Oh I got to get the beers, because Jens will be here soon." He then waited at the finish line for Jens.
And the exchange was made at the line.
Classic, and something you see over here.
No race is complete without a call out to Michele for the support.