Sunday, June 12, 2011

Conversations from the winner's circle

Today I ran a small community race, The Bear Run, that MomvsMarathon mentioned last week. This was 4 miles of mixed terrain - paved road, pot-holed dirt road, loose gravel trail, paved trail, bark, grass, you name it, we ran on it. The proceeds from this community race benefit local youth running programs and the young runners were out in full force.

Looking at previous years' results, I knew I would get smoked but this year had exceptionally fast front-runners. The women's 4 mile race broke a course record set in 1999! The leading lady won in around 23:35 minutes (5:54 pace)! (We got the impression she runs for UW or WSU?)

I wish I could have seen her run, that is so very fast and exciting. Instead, I was huffing & puffing a full 6+ minutes behind her.

The park setting (Lake Wilderness) was quite nice...

It was strange running a 4-mile race. I wasn't sure how to pace myself at all. As usual, I went out too fast. The first two miles were HILLY. VERY hilly. Fortunately, the last two were fairly flat but the terrain was a bit tougher (loose gravel, potholes, grass, etc). All this crazy mixed-up stuff made the course a lot of fun and the distance went by fairly quickly. 

During those first two miles, there was a young girl running near me (i.e., ahead of me) who powered up the hills. She was doing great. Then, at the third mile she started to struggle. I caught up to her and encouraged her to take some deep breaths, told her she was doing great. She eventually took off and won her age group (0-12 yrs). AWESOME! I'm sure I was witnessing a future high school cross-country star. 

Then, in the last mile, I caught up to two young boys. One I ended up passing and the other would run hard then hard, then walk...staying ahead of me the whole time. With about 0.5 mile to go, I caught him and told him to just take it easy, take deep breaths. We ran together a bit. When we turned into the park, he stopped! I encouraged him to keep up, take it easy then 'go for it' when we could see the finish line. Boy, that kid ran right with me until we saw that finish line and as I yelled, "Go, go, go!" and he was OFF! Like Speedy Gonzales! I sprinted to the finish too but there was no way I could touch that little guy! He ended up placing second  in his age division (0-12 yrs). 

I finished in 30:35 (7:39 pace), which was pretty close to my goal of 7:30 (splits = 7:21, 8:02-HILLS, 7:38, 7:29). This was my first 4-mile race, so it was an instant PR AND it got me first in my age group (30-39). I won a bear from the bear run!

After the awards were given, we had a photo session for those who won their age division. I noticed the winner of the "70 and Better" age group had a 2011 Boston Marathon shirt on. I couldn't help but LOUDLY comment on it. Sorry for the race director, but that made our little photo session unravel as everyone had to congratulate the Boston runner. A celebrity!



  1. Good job in the race. I love the photo comments.

  2. Nice age group win! And I love how you cheered on the kids. I find that just as rewarding as winning:) (Not that I have much experience w/ winning....)

  3. Congrats on winning your age group, that is awesome :)

    I LOVE the pics :)

  4. Congrats on a great race and winning your AG!!
    Love the comments on the photos :)

  5. Great job! those are great splits

  6. Congrats! I can't say I'd know how to pace for 4 miles either, but you did it AND cheered others on, sweet.

  7. Great job!!
    I did a 4 mile race earlier this year - it's kind of a strange distance don't you think?
    You were SO FAST! Again...GREAT JOB!

  8. Congrats on the PR and AG win! Those bears are a great award!

  9. Sounds like fun, and you did some great running! Love the pictures!

  10. That's awesome: your AG win, the kids and your encouragement, the Boston guy, everything! What an inspiring post.

  11. Hahaha! So bummed I missed this race. And Bennie didn't even win. Boo.

  12. only won by 3 secs (ok, ok, 3 very important WINNING seconds!). Next time. ;)

    I was told that the lady who won the women's race is an Olympic hopeful trialling for the 10k. Impressive stuff. Definitely echo the sentiment that it would've been great to actually see her in action.

    Congrats again, fun times on the bear run.

  13. congrats on your PR and AG win! i love watching little kids race. its always so entertaining!

  14. Woohoo, congrats on your ag win :).

    And I'm starting a petition to remove all hills in races - running and cycling. Holler if you want to sign!!

    Nice job, girlie!!

  15. AG win, nice. Congrats.

    Thanks for the comment and suggestion about the lady in Scotland. In fairness, I decided to give it to the fist person who raised their hand, so it's going to Canada (Alanna). She's not sure she has any international Followers so I'll definitely forward your comment to her!

  16. Hilarious pictures and congratulations on a 1st place win! I need a new 4 mile PR because mine was set with my first 4 mile race ever. The 4 mile race is such an odd distance that I haven't had many opportunities to do it again!