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The day started early since Diana and I do lots of volunteering for races. (Diana is the volunteer coordinator so I figure since I have to show up early anyway, I may as well get the tokens for volunteering - that pays the entry fee for many races!) We were at the starting area by 6 am and I got busy with a few others to set up the finish line and then move up the hill to set up the 5K start. I didn't run the 5K but that course starts out going uphill and has a downhill finish. I had the pleasure of keeping runners for the 10K away from the finish area so their chips wouldn't mess up the results of the 5K.<br><br>
About 8:30 I went for a 1 mile warm up run. I was running into the light wind and by the time I finished, my hands were cold! I thought about trying to run back to the car to get gloves but the sun was shining brightly and the race went with the wind at the start. I gambled that I would be warm enough in the crowd of folks at the start.<br><br>
I lined up well back in the pack (290 runners or so). As we were getting ready for the start we had an unofficial "flyover". The NG must have been on a training run but they had two Huey helicopters fly over the start area right at 9. It was awesome, especially since they normally use Blckhawks these days!<br><br>
The gun went off and I slowly took off. Even though it was not a large race, it still took me nearly 30 seconds to get to the mats. I was planning on starting relatively slow since I knew the course would be hilly and I really didn't know how well I had recovered from the marathon last week. Fortunately the first mile was relatively downhill so I was able to get moving and loosened up without having to work too hard.<br><br>
The course is a certified course but none of the miles are marked. The water stops were supposedly at the 2 and four mile marks, but the water stop from the 5K was still set up and handing out water so that threw that metric out the window. So I had to start going by my knowledge of the course. The difficulty of that is that I normally run the course the other direction! So the first major hill is what I usually experience as a long downhill run.<br><br>
I did the uphill portions as a controlled effort. I made every effort to control my unconscious effort to catch folks and held a steady pace up the hills and then used the down hills to pass folks.<br><br>
Once I got to the spot where I knew that there was only about 2 miles left, there was also a very steep uphill portion. I controlled my pace up the hill and passed a couple of people but realized my HR was getting out of control. I knew that there was still more hill, though not as steep before I got to the top. I broke into a fast walk to control my HR and one of the persons I passed came past me and said come on- keep with me. I didn't take the bait. I walked to where I knew I could run again without the major HR increase. I quickly covered the distance to the woman who had passed me while I was walking and then several others. I hit the high point and controlled my speed until I was around the switchback (yes, it was that steep). From there I knew it was just about a half mile left and just turned on the gas. It helped that it was mostly downhill as well.<br><br>
It was an awesome feeling just cruising along at a pretty good clip at the end of a race. It was even better that all of the aches and pains that I thought about at the beginning of the race were gone!<br><br>
So, for those who actually finished the 10K course, I ended up 3rd in my age group and 56th overall. Unfortunately, someone had removed a barricade from the course and the first 15 runners missed a turn! None of those were in my age group, but it ruined the fact that this race had prize money! The race directors decided to not award any cash and put it back to the charity the race supported. The person who "won" the race would not even be close to the ones that missed the turn. It didn't bother me at the time, but one of the other issues was that this was supposed to be one of our "Grand Prix" races. I had planned on this one to get some points for the Grand Prix. Since 15 persons can't be accurately placed, the race will be dropped as a point race for the Grand Prix. So now I have to find another race to run!<br><br>
So for me- 50:30 on a hilly 10K course. 3/9 in my age group, 45/163 males, and 56/289 overall! Weather conditions about 45* and sunny, no wind!
 

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Nice, controlled racing! Great job! Bummer about the course mess up though. I've had that happen to me a couple of times and it's really annoying...
 

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Great job. It is tough out there without water and without mile markers. It is tough to guage yourself on a hilly course without the mile markers.
 
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