I couldn't help it. It was small, cheap, and based on last year's results - I had a chance to place in my age group. So I went for it.
The weather didn't seem like it was going to cooperate, but it mostly just stayed cloudy and the rain held off. The race was part of a hot air balloon festival a few towns away which included food vendors, crafts, rides, and of course hot air balloons!
Somehow I convinced B to join me. He's only been to two of my races - my first 10K, and my half marathon - so I was excited, even if he wasn't overly thrilled. (Don't worry, while I was running he got a sausage and talked to the air national guard people that were there.)
It wasn't a chipped race, which always annoys me because I like accuracy. But, since it was small, getting over the 'start' line wasn't really an issue. I lined up with everyone, probably in the front of the middle of the pack. The race was started with a "ready, set, go" through a bull horn, and the course guided by a guy on the bike.
I knew it was going to be somewhat hilly, and I haven't exactly been *ahem* keeping up with training, so I was nervous. I felt good for the first mile and finished it with a split of 8:44, which is pretty fast for me. There were a few woman around my pace so I stayed with them for a while before passing several of them. Mile 2 was out through farmland (aka manure smell) and was mostly flat, except for the uphill turn around that included a water stop.
At this point, I was just pretty ready for it to be over. I wasn't feeling it and just kept pace with a girl next to me through the up and down hills. Mile 2 split was 9:01. There were rolling hills the last mile and I was grateful to see the dirt road that lead to the finish line. As I ran towards the finish I saw B on the sideline with the camera.
I know, I look so great when I run, huh? Sidenote: the girl behind me in the green shirt was the one I ran with almost the whole time. After I got home and went to log my miles onto dailymile.com, I realized she was a girl I had recently friended on the site. We're also running a few more of the same races this summer. Small world!
Mile 3 split was 9:08. My official finish time was 27:55. It wasn't a PR, but I'm still really pleased with it. There were more hills than the one I PR'd on a few weeks ago, and this one was 3.13 whereas that one was 3.01. So, yea, I was okay with my time. It was still well under 30, and it was in the 27s, so I can't complain!
Oh, and then there's the minor fact that I got 2nd in my age group again. Woo hoo!!! So, I call that a WIN. 2nd out of 15 in my age group, and 68 out of 154 overall. Not too shabby for a Friday night. And it didn't even start to sprinkle until the awards.
I felt alot better than I looked here, I swear. So sloppy looking!
Anyway, now I've got myself $15 to spend at RoadID, which is what I chose from the table for my award :) I'm probably going to get a wrist or ankle sport ID. For those who aren't familiar, they're similar to the medical ID bracelets people with certain conditions tend to wear - only they have personal and contact information available in case anything where to happen to the wearer while running (or biking, or whatnot). Gives the wearer and their loved ones some piece of mind. There is also room on them to include an inspirational quote.... so now I need to decide on a running mantra. And of course which color I want.