Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ultimate Runner Recap

Sorry about the delay in posting this event. Vacation and downtime take a priority over posting to my blog. Family time as it should takes precedent.

Okay, the 28th of June my to-do list got another item checked off – The Ultimate Runner – presented by the Twin City Track Club.

These guys put on an awesome event from the logistic of moving runners through the events to the post race party at Bob’s.  This makes total sense when I think about it. They have been putting on this event for the last 28 years.

After spending all of June running track workout after track workout, the time had finally arrived for me to put racing shoe to track on last time.

The training workouts really paid off for me. The Ultimate Runner turned out to be no where as hard as the workouts that I had been doing. Which really make sense when I think about it. Drop an extra heat of the mile, 800, and no 200. Add in the fact that there was plenty of rest between events, and things couldn’t have worked out better for me.

To start things off, my warm up was shortened. Usually, my warm up consist of 3 to 4 miles before starting the events. This particular evening it would only be 2 miles before racing the mile. The remaining miles would be used later in the evening to keep loose between the events.

All week long there had been quite a bit of shifting around with the seed times so heading into the weekend, I was pretty happy to still being seeded into heat one. I felt like being in heat one gave me the greatest amount of time to recover between events. In hindsight this might have not been the best of ideas. Yes, being in heat one gave me the most recovery time as expected, but it also meant that I was running against guys much faster.

In the mile, I was seventh in my heat and forth in the XC 5k. Otherwise, I was pretty much last in the 400, 800, and 100 for my heats. The only bright spot because they were so much faster, the inside of the track was pretty much always clear for me to run. 

Mentally, I just had to put the “finishing last in the heat” thoughts out of my mind because the times that I was posting were still excellent for me.

Okay, here’s the recap from the events.

After a brief 2 mile warm up, we gathered at the starting line for the spreading of the ashes from last year’s shirts and the start of the first event.

We got 2 commands “on your marks” and the “gun”.

These guys took it out what I would describe as was pretty easy for the first 200 meters before kicking it into high gear. The gap between them and me was quickly growing wider. But with each pass of the clock, I knew I was running pretty fast. I was trying to dig in on the last lap and flashed across the line in 5:08. Compared to them, I felt old and slow but the clock said that I had nearly run my fastest mile of the year. I was excited about my start.

After the race, I walked it off to recover and saved my legs. They needed nearly 90 minutes to complete all 8 heats of the mile. As they neared the end of the mile heats, I was back out doing more strides in the shade because it was so hot and humid.

My 400 was 67 seconds. My best all time 400 is 66 and it was nearly 6 seconds faster than my summer track times.

Next up was the 800 which I again preceded with more strides. The heats of the 400 went by fast and rather than set down, I kept moving to keep my legs loose.  Boom, I ran 2:26.7. Again, this was a PR for the year.  In fact, it was a PR for the last couple of years.

Since the track only has 6 lanes, they run 100 meters with just 6 runners which made for more heats of the 100. Actually, there were 17 heats of the 100. My seeding positioned put me in the 2nd heat of the 100. In all honesty, this event worried me more than any other. A couple of runners had already pulled up with injuries. The last thing that my body needed was a hamstring pull.

When I flashed across the line and saw a 14.3 time for the 100, I was ecstatic. Finishing last didn’t matter when running over 3 seconds faster. Awesome!

The rest of the 100 meter heats went by fairly quickly and we gathered on the back side of the track for the start of the XC 5k.

For the XC course, we would be doing a lap and ½ on the track followed a combination of trail, dirt, grass, gravel, and pavement.

One thing I had not thought about was how dark that it was getting.

But I knew the course and I was looking forward to seeing how much that I had left in the tank.

After the lap and half, I was 7th leaving the track. By the mile I had moved up to 5th place. Even thou, the visibility was difficult as dusk gathered, I tried to keep pushing. On the final loop, I moved in to 4th place. The top 3 guys were gone.  I could not even see them as dusk fell over the park.

We finished with a lap and half on the track. I finished 4th overall in 18:50 for 3.22 miles.

My overall place was 15th and 14th among the males. They give away mugs to the top 15 males so I felt really lucky to have scored an Ultimate Runner Mug and one of the prized “Ultimate Runner” shirts.

Looking at the results, my worst event compared to the rest of the field was the 400 where I finished 42 overall. The 800 I finished in 14. The 100 I finished 27th overall.

Having never run track during either high school or college, I find that I have a certain fascination with going around in small circles as fast as I can. This is definitely an event that I will consider running again next year.

Great Job – Twin City Track Club – you guys rocked it.


Sharing on thought at time,

The  Cool Down Runner



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