Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Dirty Sock 10K is done - we sure had fun

( L-R) DaveADK, AG, Emerging Runner, Firefreak

Dirty Sock 10K Trail Run: 59:22 overall, 9:35 pace

It was touch and go with the weather this weekend and we were concerned that we'd be hit with thunderstorms that would render Belmont Lake Park a giant mud puddle. Adventure Girl came out on Saturday and, since the rain had held, we did a few miles at Stillwell to end our tapers. After a light dinner we ran some with my daughter and then we turned our attention to the race: the Babylon Village Classic Dirty Sock 10K. By evening we saw that the 40% chance of precipitation had been downgraded to 5% and went to sleep with high hopes of a dry course.

Happily that was the case for the most part and we arrived at the race location under clear skies. It was humid, to be sure, but the temperature was a reasonable 74 degrees. As we waited for the race to begin we noticed bagpipers playing near the entrance to the trails and lots of very fit runners stretching and preparing for the run. After picking up our race shirts and numbers my wife, kids, AG and I made our way up the trail to scope out the starting line. AG and I did a light run up the path to warm up and we found DaveADK, a Runner's World Loop friend who I ran with a couple of weeks ago. We found our place at the starting line and happily noted that the race organizers set things up to track the participant's actual start from the line. Every other race I've run has had a common start with the only measurement being total elapsed time. With a small field of runners it's not that critical to capture exact start because it's usually no more than ten seconds after the gun but this race had 555 finishers so it took almost a minute to cross the starting line.

AG, Dave and I started together and Dave was the first to break off ahead of us. AG stuck with me for the first mile and then took off to run her race. I probably cost her 30 to 50 seconds in overall race time but she graciously said that starting a little slower had helped her down the line. The course is relatively flat and the trail was mostly dry but there were a few wide puddles that required some maneuvering. I really started feeling the humidity as we made our way past mile 2 but I was determined to maintain a mid 9:00 pace for as much of the run as I could. I felt like I was doing pretty well until I saw the eventual winners pass us in the other direction about 20 minutes into the race. The guy next to me said, "well there goes my first place finish!" By the time I reached the north lake I felt fine about doing the remaining 3.2 miles but when I saw the path around the lake we needed to follow for the turnaround it made me think the worst was yet to come. The pack had thinned by that point and I found myself being passed and passing the same group of people. Miles three through five went by reasonably quickly but the last 1.2 miles seemed endless.

Once I heard the announcer calling the names of the runners as they crossed the finish line I knew I was close to the end and I put as much effort into my finish as I could. I saw AG standing near the trail exit and she cheered me as I passed. I crossed the line and saw my wife and kids right there and I felt great, tired, dizzy and hot as I walked off the remaining energy. I was feeling very light headed and cooled down with water and watermelon. I then met Firefreak, another Runner's World Loop friend. He was there with his girlfriend and had finished well ahead of me. I was happy to see him and Dave at the race, it made me feel great about the community of runners and the fact that there are some really good people in the runner blog community. I also like that they both encouraged me to finally buy a Garmin 405. My iPhone tracking application failed miserably today.

My family and AG went out (after some very needed showers) to a great lunch place in Bay Shore and we spent the afternoon in Port Jefferson before putting AG on the ferry and heading home. I was pleased to have maintained a 9:35 pace on what we heard was a tougher run than last year. It was my first 10K, first trail race and my first race with AG. My wife was an incredible race team manager and my kids were up at 5:30 AM with no complaints then or throughout the day. I completed one of my 2009 goals: complete at least four races this year. I'm on vacation this week and I feel great. I think I'll sleep well tonight.


  1. Congratulations, don't know if it was as humid there as Boston, but it must have been tough. Enjoy your vacation!

  2. Thanks Bill. The humidity was a killer and the woods felt like a rain forest. I enjoyed running it but I really enjoyed finishing! Now back to some recreational running this vacation...


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