Sunday, June 19, 2011

Midsummer Night's Run Race Review!

Yeah, I know, it's not even summer yet, much less "Midsummer," but build it and they'll come, I guess.

Well, this was the first true nighttime run in the EPIC 2011 series, although the Move Toward Hope was strangely a mid-afternoon, weekday run. The Midsummer consisted of three races, a 2k at 6:00pm, a 10k at 6:30 and a 5k at 6:40.

When I arrived a little before six to pick up my number, the weather was decent: cloudy but warm, although there was a fairly stiff breeze blowing through. Whatever, I was just happy it wasn't raining.

The 10k runners lined up right beside Crescent Valley High School for a few instructions from the race director. He mentioned not to leave it all on the road in the first two miles as there was a pretty good hill just before the halfway point of the race. Yeah, I thought, I've seen the elevation chart they had attached to the race website. It wasn't even 300 total feet of elevation - I wasn't too worried. ("psssstt - that was foreshadowing - in case you missed it...ok, back to our story")

So ready, go, and we were off. The first third of the race follows a section of the HOTV Triathlon bike course, so I knew we were going to go up and down a bit even before we got to the section that the race director had warned us about, but I had never run the last two-thirds of the course, so I was not really mentally prepared for what I found.

After looping around the school, we took Highland Drive north, which is a slight uphill, but nothing crazy. I knew, of course, that once we took the left on Lewisburg, there was indeed a very short, but very steep, climb. It was right about there that the fast 5k runners caught me. Three of them passed me, but then we continued on Lewisburg while the 5k folks went left on Crescent Valley Drive, so that was all I saw of 5k-ers for a while.

And here's where I had some issues. Before I start bmgc-ing, let me just show you "their" elevation map and "my" elevation map.

You may notice a slight difference of opinion here. I sure noticed it out on the roads.

Now, I'm not going to get on my soapbox about hilly runs...until later this week, so just let me say that if you do happen to organize a hilly race, at least get your numbers close. There's no way that course only had 289 feet of climbing.

So after absolutely struggling through the middle two miles of the race, we finally got over the hump, literally and figuratively, and had pretty much downhill and flat for the last two miles. I'm feeling a lot stronger than earlier in the year at the end of races and I was able to hit my last two miles at 8:10 and 7:32, respectively. Still, because of those brutal middle miles, I barely, just barely, beat my Make a Change 10k time from March, which was on a pretty flat course.

Now, I believe we've got a week off until we get to the next race on the EPIC sched: the Red, White and Blue Riverfront Festival 5k. Wow, that's a mouthful.

See you there!

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