Saturday morning 3.21.09 I headed to the south side of Charlotte for the Shamrock 4 miler. This was the first of nine events in the Run for Your Life Grand Prix Series and it brought out a lot of people.
Being that the economy is in the tank lately, it was good to see that 800+ runners toe the starting line. As usual they had the radio guys were out playing music; there were massages, sports drinks, oranges, bread, and fajitas after the race. With these tough times, it was nice to see these people still coming out to support our hobby. And I make a point to frequent there establishments when I can.
But let’s get back to the race.
Going into this race, I really didn’t have any expectations. My only goal was to go out and find a pace that I could maintain until the end. My main concern was how hard could I push my knee and would it withstand the stress of racing.
Arriving at the race a little early, I picked up my number and chip. This was followed by some of the standard prerace line standing needs.
Then there was some chatting with several people that I hadn’t seen in 6 months.
I tried to keep the chatting short but we all know how that goes. From there, I changed out my shoes and headed out for a much longer warm up. I covered the entire 4 miles of the course before the race. I knew I had reached a good warm up point when my heart dropped down.
Next, I changed over to my racing flats. I got a new pair of the Mizuno Rorins. I have to say that I really like them. They felt great on my feet.
I stretched and put in some strides before heading up to the starting line.
We left about 1 to 2 minutes behind the baby joggers. Bobby A. was flying with his baby jogger. I would not catch him until about 2 miles into the race.
Tim gave some last minute instructions and yelled “go” and we were off. I took it out slow. People were passing me on both sides. I saw Peter B. go by. I looked to my right and saw Alana H. go by. She is the 12 year old running wiz of Charlotte these days. And I have to say getting faster.
I was looking for Steve S. to go flying by me. Actually, I was expecting to only see his dust as he faded out of sight in front of me. To my surprise, he was actually running just off my right shoulder.
We covered the first mile and ½ together and started picking off a few people. The first ½ of the course has a lot more down hill which tends to pull people out too fast. Just before the turn around, my legs were feeling pretty good so I decided to take advantage of the downhill and push a little harder. I must have gapped Steve at this point, but I was still expecting him to fly by me on the way back. Steve is a smart runner and runs strong the 2nd half of races.
On the way back I focused on just trying to catch people as they faded on the hills. I caught this kid from Wingate just before the last straight away to the finish. I guess I didn’t time my finish sprint well enough. I passed him but he then passed me back just before the finish. He clipped me by a second. Not bad, considering his legs are probably 20+ years younger than my legs.
Timewise, I finished in 22:48 which was good enough for 8th overall. Chris and Brian from our TrySports team finished 2nd and 4th overall. So it made for a good day TrySports team. Paul M. and Robert M. from the Run For Your Life team made a great appearance finishing 3rd and 5th. Stuart M. took the top honors with a sub 20 minute time.
Later during my warm down run with Stuart, Paul, and Robert I found out that Stuart is training for the London marathon and hoping to run 2:20 or better.
Bob M. wasn’t at the race. I heard that he has some foot issues, but I suspect that he will be back soon and running as fast as ever.
On the women’s side, Alana H. ran 23:26. She gapped the rest of the women’s field by over a minute.. Interestingly, after Alana there appears to be some new faces out there.
Overall, I was well pleased with my effort. My knee withstood the race stress but I did ice it down after the race.
And if you must know, after the race I ran a bunch of errands and then jumped on the bike for some off road riding. But I did remember to stretch before bed that night.