Okay, that's not really the name.....but it would be a more accurate description of the race. There were lots of giggles that any of us would sign up for a race that guarantees hill after hill, many curves in the road, and changes in surface. It's a race not for a PR, but to shoot to avoid a PW (personal worst). It starts at our area dinosaur museum, heads up paved road into a hilly residential neighborhood and then then twists, turns, climbs and falls until the 10K runners hit a hilly, oiled dirt and rock road before finally turning back for the return trip to the museum.
At its peak, this race used to attract hundreds of people when the dinosaur museum was located in our downtown Main Street area, with a nice downhill route that enticed many. The dinosaur museum moved into their new location (not centrally located) a few years ago and the race distance has changed several times, so couple that with a course that nobody would run for fun and it's sadly dwindled down to a pretty small crowd. It's still one of those great courses on which to test yourself, combining a tough hill workout with race conditions.
We were very lucky that we had that cloud cover because we didn't quite get off on time-the race was supposed to start at 7:30, and as of 7:25, the person doing timing still wasn't there(!?!). The guy did show up around 7:28 and did have us ready to go by 7:35. He counted down and off we went.
This was my fifth race in sixth weeks, and between that, knowing that the hills would keep coming, and coming, and coming, and having been a little sick earlier in the week, I did opt for hard running, but not the running at a 12 on a 1 to 10 scale intensity that I was doing from the get-go in the previous two 5K's. There was one girl ahead of me but by the time I'd picked it up as much as I thought I could without blowing up on the hills, she was still pulling away little by little.
Mile 1: 7:33
The second mile was the one with the little downhill, step uphill, repeat...I was VEEERRRY slow on the uphill and got some good speed on the downhill but it wasn't enough to cancel out the lack of speed going up the hill.
Mile 2: 8:11
Heading out on the dirt/rocky road, I was just sort of laughing in my head thinking "this course sucks." It sounds bad, but it actually had the opposite effect and loosened me up. Given the unstable footing, and the hills, this mile was a bit better.
Mile 3: 7:51
Hey, look at that! More hills!
Mile 4: 8:03
I really can't see the first place female anymore...I'd said "looking good" to her as I was going downhill to the turnaround and she was already well on her way back. When I passed my friend Carl as he made his way to the turnaround and I was on my way back, he said she was about 45 seconds up. She had to have been quite a bit ahead at this point. I could hear one guy who was not far back, and given the widely spaced runners where we were, this was at least a chance to try to hold him off, and keep kicking even though first was out of reach unless the girl suddenly stepped out and DNF'd.
Mile 5: 7:39
Now we finally flatten out, relatively speaking, to go back to the start/finish. I don't always like getting a long, one mile look down the road but after all the hills it was okay today.
Mile 6: 7:27
Last garmin measured .44 miles- 7:15. I am not sure if I was really running the tangents THAT badly (possibly...with all the curves in the road) or if the distance was off at all. Total time, 49:54. HAHA. I was kicking in hard on the downhills and trying to charge the uphills and that is still an absolute personal worst if we count it as a road race.....and second to worst if we compare it with my trail 10K's.
I was second overall, first in age group, and I must admit I kind of kicked myself a little when I found out that there was prize money for overall winners, and my worst 5K time over the past two years still would've been good enough for the win. As it was, the 10K winner could not accept her money (same story, actually, for the men's winner) because of NCAA rules. Don't start me on that...that would be a whole topic altogether. It's not like they have boosters throwing sports cars and big money at cross country runners under the table, and it's great for a student to have a little bit of extra cash on hand.
Oh well-I really needed a good hilly, hard run as far as training goes, so I'll take it! We did get all the nice free juice drinks from a race sponsor, and cool dinosaur claw awards. I love it when the awards are something related to the organization putting on the race, and it was a cool and unusual idea.