Some people might say this is a recovery period for me. In the back of my brain it feels more like a waste of my time.
Everyone needs a purpose or we just aimlessly wonder through our lives.
Anyway, I am digressing. I am here to talk about the “Run for the Warriors” 10k on Saturday.
So, if I recall correctly, Flavia posted mid week about getting a group together for the “Run for the Warriors” races on Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway
Flavia has always been a huge supporter of our running club activities so if I could reciprocate, I would. BTW, Flavia, I really appreciate you getting this setup. You are the best.
Once I made my commitment, I set about looking for more information on the race. Two things: start time and course were where I went first.
Opening ceremonies were at 7:15 with the races starting at 7:30.
The course was another matter. Just one look at the course map online had me covering my eyes. It gave all appearances to be a runner’s nightmare with overlapping and loop backs sections. Fast forward to Saturday morning, I warmed looking to see at much of the course as possible but the marked course didn’t seem to match the online course map.
Then, just before the race, the race director attempted to describe the course. It didn’t help. Unless, you are super familiar with the speedway, it just sounded like turn left here and turn right here – so on and so forth.
On the plus, they were having a pace truck. With the fortune favoring the bold, I asked the race director if the truck was following the 10k or 5k course. She indicated it was following 10k course. At this point, I figured I would just have to run as hard as I could and hope I could keep the truck insight. I was running the 10k.
Side bar for second, having run a number of races at the speed way, I have always been puzzled as to why races stay in such a small area. After all the speedway is huge place. You could literally hold a marathon on the speedway grounds. Unless, the speedway is making them stay in a specific area, there should not be any reason for not spreading out.
Okay, back to the race now, LOL, the horns sounds, and Ryan rockets off the line. I quickly fall in to second place while sucking in the exhaust fumes along the way.
We weave long the front of speedway and then enter inside through Gate 1 using the pedestrian underpass to the infield.
We follow the truck up on to the track and down pit road to the far end. Then, we turn on to the track for the first of two laps running clockwise.
As we heading back along the track, I notice that Ryan and I are the only ones on the track. For that matter, there is no one on pit road and there should be.
Going along the back stretch, we see the other runners but they are all circling through the infield. Something was wrong and I knew it but at the moment, I hoped it wasn’t me.
For the better part of two laps, Ryan would throw in these tiny surges, and I would pull each one back. But with each turn, I felt better and better.
Coming around for the second lap, Ryan says his legs are done and lets me get a small gap.
Again, we are behind the pace track and head out of the track back through the pedestrian tunnel.
We make a long curve around the track on the side to climb the hill between turns 3 and 4 and run through the grandstands.
This is the mile where I began to falter. Maybe it was fatigue. I did run 14 miles with the PDS group on Friday morning. Or maybe, I am getting old and need to slow down.
Either way, shortly after mile 5, Ryan goes flying back by me. Clearly, running Boston on Monday hasn’t dampened his legs too much.
This is the point where I guess I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself. I didn’t even put up a fight.
My time was 39:58 which I believe was 2 second overall. Given the other runners ran varying distances, who really knows.
My Garmin recorded 6.55 miles but given that we run through the tunnel twice and ran under the grand stands, we probably covered another quarter mile or so.
Being this was an inaugural race, all I can say is - they have more than a few bumps in the road to hammer out before next year.
As for me and with all things given, it wasn’t that bad. Yeah, I was disappointed in my final two miles, but otherwise, I raced pretty well given that I am nowhere near race shape.
Now, may be my motivation will return to hit a few more races.
The Cool Down Runner