Tuesday, August 27, 2013

YMCA Community 8k

Saturday morning, I found myself setting in the parking lot of the Stanley Country YMCA an hour before the race and wondering I had the either the date or the location wrong. No, I was pretty certain the date was right. After all, Peter had posted about the race the previous night on FaceBook. The race was to start and finish at the YMCA. Honestly, I thought that was just one YMCA in Albemarle, but then, I wasn’t sure.

But based on the race course map, I was in the right place.

Finally, a familiar face was popped out and assured me that I was indeed in the right place and had the right time.

I did think it was a little strange that for a 7:30 race start, they didn’t setup for the registration until 6:45. One would think, they would be setting up by 6:15 at the latest.

Anyway, I finished my warm up and did a few strides before making my way to the starting line. As luck would have it, the police would not be providing a lead car. We would follow a volunteer in her car with the car’s flashers on – more on this later.

I am sure most of you are wondering why I am Albemarle running an 8k when there are a multitude of races right in my back yard.

Well, there are several reasons. One, I enjoy running the Tour De Elvis 5k. My WineGlass marathon is the first week of Oct so my final tune up race will be two weeks out at the Badin 10k. Then, there is the fact that Peter put together this “Trifecta” race series: Tour De Elvis 5k, Y Community 8k, and the Badin 10k. Since I was doing two of the three races, I might as well do all 3 races. On top of it, I heard there was a nasty long hill on this course. It must be long and hard if they were giving a “King of the Hill” award to the first man and women topping the hill. Normally, I avoid hilly courses but with my “Capital Punishment” hill coming up next weekend, I thought this would give me a great baseline for it.

Ok, enough of the tangents, let’s get back to the race.

So we are finally off and running. The course heads downhill for most of the first half mile pretty sharply. Seth is takes it out. Britney, a 15 year girl, hangs in with us.

Then, the hill starts. There are a couple of false flats during the climb, but for pretty much the next 2 miles, I am climbing. After 2 miles, the course rolls along with a couple more sharp drops and long climbs.

Seth dropped back when we started the first climb. My quads waivered just a little but responded pretty well once I hit the top of the hill.

Now, it was just me and lead car with flashing lights.

We are just about to the three mile mark and are passing through an intersection. She heads through and I am following maybe 30 meters behind.

I watch as this card pulls up to the intersection. We were told beforehand that the course wasn’t closed to traffic, but still one would think that people in cars would have a little common sense. I guess I shouldn’t expect too much. After all during the first mile, Seth and I had a car pull in behind us and blow its horn at us. Really, they couldn’t see the stream of people coming down the road and wait just a few minutes.

So she goes through the intersection. I am following her through it. Then, this guy just pulls out. He wasn’t even looking at me. It was as if I were invisible. He pulls right across in front of me and follows her for a bit before passing her.

Even now, I don’t think this guy ever saw me. Now, it something that I just shake my head about and wonder what he was thinking, but at the time, I was more than a little frustrated with this guy. When a person gets behind the wheel of a car, they need to accept the responsibility that comes with it. Be careful!

The rest of the race was uneventful at least for me. I was soon headed back to downtown Albemarle and then over to the Y.

Aside from the first mile, I was running solo and finished with a time of 29:16 for the win. My winner’s trophy was very nice, and because I topped the hill first, I will get my “King of the Hill” t-shirt from Peter at the Badin race.

Yeah, there were a few hiccups during the race: the start and the cars on the course. Overall, the race was pretty well handled. The packet pick up was pretty easy. The results and awards came out in a timely matter. The course was well marked, and they had plenty of volunteers with someone at every turn on the course.

And, oh yeah, they have one nasty hill in this race.

But what’s life without a few challenges to make it interesting.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner




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