The itch to race again reared its head and sent me in search of a local race. Popping up first on my list was the Red Run 8k in Huntersville. Actually, the race is held in the Huntersville Business Park which is a scant 5 miles from my home. Making it even better, this race was an 8k.
My favor race distance is 10 miles but a close second is the 8k. They are hard to find so when I spotted this one and given the close proximity to my home, I signed right up.
Fast forward to Saturday morning, the weather was cool for May – very cool indeed.
As we stood waiting the final minutes before the start, a slight drizzle settled over the area along with a stiff wind out of the west.
The 8k race had a small field with most runners and walkers opting for the 4k distance.
If you are not familiar with the Huntersville Business Park, the lay of the land is pretty much on the side of a hill. Either you are running up or you are running down hill. Given the direction, you can have a lot more uphill than down.
Maybe this was the thinking of the race director because we ran course in the direction that had us going uphill for 3 miles and then downhill for 2 hills. The saving grace is the last mile is mainly downhill.
Within a few hundred yards of the start I found myself taking the lead.
Uphill, the mile mark appears in the distance but seems to take forever to reach. Luckily, I crest over just afterward and am rewarded with a long downhill to recover my breathing.
Then, back up the hill a second time but as I near the top, the coarse turns right on to Vanstory. After a short downhill, I am climbing yet again. Both miles 3 and 4 are all up hill.
Passing the 4 mile point, the course turns downhill. I urge my legs to turn over faster. They resist my mental suggestions. Two miles of climbing have left them numb to my request.
Rounding the final bend in the road, the finish line comes in to sight. Glancing at my Garmin, I see a 28 something. Again, I urge my legs to move faster. I pump my arms in hopes that this helps.
Crossing the finish line, my 29:15 time was far better than expected. May be all those uphill ¼ mile repeats are finally paying off.
All, in all, this was a pretty decent little race. Kudos go to the HFFA.org group for organizing this one.
Staying with my 2 races per month game plan, where will I show up next. There are 3 more weeks in May.
The Cool Down Runner