Monday, September 23, 2013

Run the Valley 10k - Trifecta Challenge and RRCA 10k Champion

Boy, when I said the title to this post, I said a mouthful. This may be one of the long post “titles” for me ever, and I owe it all to Peter at Vac & Dash.

Peter and his crew put on another great Run the Valley race on Saturday morning.

As I was planning my marathon schedule out, I always like to schedule a good hard race two weeks before my marathon. Usually, I run an 8k race but when I saw they moved Run the Valley back a week, I decided to sign up for the 10k. I usually run the ½ marathon, but it would not have been the wisest of plans this fall.

Later, I saw that the Run the Valley race would also be the RRCA-NC 10k State Championship. This just gave me another good reason for running. Add on the fact, it would be the 3rd race in the Vac & Dash Trifecta Series. I was now completely sold.

Thus a little after 5 AM this Saturday, I was cutting through the night time air on my way to Badin, NC.

I watched the ½ marathoners roar off the line at 7:30 and then, went to make final preparations for the 10k start.

Everyone was lined up and ready to go at 8 AM. Peter gave us the final countdown. I had Seth on side, Bobby on the other side, Richard and his video glasses standing just behind me. There were a few other guys to our left.

For those that have run the Run the Valley course, they will know the hills along the course. For those that have not run it, I can only describe the course as “NOT” flat. In fact, I wonder why they call it Run the Valley when I mostly feel like I am climbing lots and lots of hills. LOL.

We head out and I am slowly gapping the guys behind me. Coming up to the mile, I suddenly realize that I have not switched my Garmin to auto lap. Out of reflex, I hit the lap split button. Mile two arrives, I hit the split button.

Looking down to check my split, my Garmin displays my one mile split. Suddenly, the realization dawns on me. I hit the stop button instead of the split. Darn it. Now, I have no idea how fast I am running.

With no other option, I just run hard and hope for the best.

I hit the turn around and grab a cup of water. Because of the way the ½ and 10k courses overlap, I have been catching a few of the ½ marathoners.

Now, that I am heading back, I see them again and I meet the 10k runners going out. I try to acknowledge each one as I pass.

I see the Seth, Bobby, and Richard.

By 4 miles, I have passed all of the 10k runners and for the next mile, I am running solo.

I pass the 5k turn around, and, I start catching the 5k runners who started 5 minutes after we did.

I am weaving my way through them.

The last mile at course seems to take forever. I suspect it is because the course is mostly uphill.

I pass the school on my left and I see finish line ahead. Peter calls my name as I come toward the finish line.

I crossed the finish line but have no idea what I ran. The clock says an hour and five minutes. Later, I see on the results sheet that I ran a 37:42 for a solo effort on a hill course. Deep down, I wish it were a little faster.

This wasn’t a speed day but it was a good day for me.

I won the 10k race, the Trifecta Challenge, and the RRCA-NC State 10k Open Championship. For my efforts, I got a huge trophy, back pack, head band, a wall plaque for the Trifecta Challenge, and will be getting an RRCA-NC 10k State Championship trophy in the mail.

I also want to give a big shout out to Bobby for finishing 4th overall and winning the Grand Masters award. Keeping the awards in the family, his daughter Nicole gets a big shout out for finishing 3 overall female in the 5k.

She appears to have gotten everyone of Bobby’s running genes.

Lastly, the Badin race crew from the course monitors and volunteers to the awards, they put on a top notch race. This is why I pass by several other races along the way to run their race.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner





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