Sunday, November 23, 2014

Santa Scramble 5k Recap

Well, yesterday afternoon, I was off running what is perhaps my favorite 5k of the year – Santa Scramble 5k in Concord, North Carolina.

With thousands of people lining the parade route, I have this deep desire to never let up because I know someone is watching.

Chris, Adam, and I headed for the starting line around 1:30. We picked up Stan during our backwards run along the course.

Arriving with perhaps 10 minutes to spare before the starting time zone. Because the race is considered the first event in the parade, the start time varies depending on when the city officials say to start.

We got an 8 minute count down so I had just enough time to hit some strides before getting myself a good spot on the starting line.

Settling in to my spot, I was chatting with those around me. The race director is standing maybe 100 yards up the road. He looks to be saying something but with the wind and crowd noise; I have no idea what it is. Then, I see him drop his hand and jump in the truck. The high school runners to my right surge off the line. Ok, I guess this means go so I start to move. I am almost immediately engulfed with runners sprinting out. There must be 100 people ahead of me.

My legs need some convincing to go harder. After all, aside from just running I have not run a hard step since my marathon just over a month ago. Adam is a few strides ahead of me. I try to link up with him.

I never see the mile mark but I hear my Garmin chime. The runners have thinned out and we are moving up. I am in a solid 7th place now.

Adam starts to gap me and urges me to join him. Mentally, I want to but my legs and lungs have a sound argument for not doing it. At that moment, they were winning.

The head wind in the second mile is nasty. I try moving along the edges of the course in hopes that this diminishes the wind. No, it doesn’t.

Adam has a pretty good lead on me now, so I focus on catching the 6th place guy.

We turn off the parade route. I am running the tangents while he is running in the middle of the road. I am just about to pull even with him when a Concord Police car decides to block my section of the shortest path. I have to shift sides and loose several yards to him.

A quick glance at my Garmin tells me that I can break 17 minutes but I have to dig like crazy. I turn the last corner and see the clock. I am digging for all that I am worth as I surge toward the finishline.

My eyes are glued to the clock.

My sprint isn’t what it used to be.

Stepping on the finish line, I press the stop button. 17:00, ugh, I was so close.

Well, I was 17:01 last year so I guess I should count my stars that I was 1 second faster.

They always do pretty well with the awards at Santa Scramble and this year was no different. I finished as the first male master’s runners and received an awesome award.

With my Santa Scramble now in the books, the holiday season can officially begin.

 

Sharing one thought at time

The Cool Down Runner

 

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