Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hope for Warriors 10K race report

Shot of the runners at the 10K start

Today's race (Hope for the Warriors): 6.2 miles at 56:23 (9:05 pace) UPDATED

Heading over to the start
I ran a good race today but I can't tell you how good because the race organizers haven't yet posted the results (see above update). Apparently there were some problems with the system used by Finish Line Road Race Technicians who managed that aspect of the race. This event was larger and grander than I'd expected and during the the pre-race ceremonies they said that over 2,000 people were participating. The crowd had grown large by the time acknowledgments were given to the men and women who serve in the military and to the families that support them. There were many active soldiers on hand and many of them participated in the races. This event had three race distances: 1 mile, 5K and 10K. At 9:30 AM, instructions were given to head to our respective starting lines and I met up with Dave as we waited for the gun to sound. Given the size of the crowd it looked like it took me 1:23 just to reach the starting line so I'm hoping they'll list net times in the results.

Dave went out ahead of me and I'm thinking he finished a couple of minutes faster that I did. The first mile was crowded because the 5K starters were sent ahead of us and there were lots of people walking abreast forcing runners to weave in and out to get a clear path. By the first mile things opened up as the walkers faded to the back and the 5K runners split off to the left to continue their race on different roads. I wore my compression pants and compression calf sleeves and though I did get a little warm in the legs it didn't affect my performance. Actually, I think it helped because I maintained a good level of energy throughout the run. Much of that is due to my recent focus on longer distances that are helping me build a better base. The weather must also be credited, it was sunny, dry and cool. Really perfect conditions for a race.

Seconds from the finish
I passed a lot of runners even on the 5th and 6th mile. By the time I reached Sunrise Highway I was looking forward to seeing my wife, my kids and the finish line but through the run I never had a "This is too hard" moment. When we came off the ramp onto route 27 one of the policemen yelled "You're almost there, the finish line is under the big flag!" In the distance I could see the flag and I reserved my final kick until I came into target range. Unfortunately there were two huge flags and the one I thought was the finish was actually positioned where I stood at the start. I did my best to keep my brisk stride knowing I had about a minute and a half more running time to get to the real finish. Very soon I saw my family along the side and I high fived them right before I crossed the line.

Me and Dave post-race
The display at the finish was off to the side so I didn't see my time when I'd actually crossed the line.  I'm a little nervous that the race organizers will say they lost the results. I hope that's not the case but either way I know I PR'd for 10K and that's great. It was a fun and inspiring event with soldiers carrying flags, field packs, and in one case, a dummy soldier on his shoulder. Next year I hope they provide more than five Porto-potties, far too few for the huge number of participants. Overall, it was great time and gratifying to participate in an event that benefits so many deserving soldiers. I'll post my finish time once results are posted.

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