Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Belated Race Report: MDRA 7 Mile

It's been over a week since I ran this race, but for some reason I've had a hard time getting inspired to write a race report. Perhaps it's because I did this same race last year and while I was happy with my results (I ran much better than I did in last year's race) I didn't have a breakthrough or unexpected performance.

Still, I did have a few things to say about the race, so in keeping with tradition of writing a race report for all my races, here it goes:

Laura was off visiting a friend in Louisiana on the Saturday morning of the race, so I was on my own driving to Hopkins and signing up for the race. It's actually a pretty neat little race--low key and free for MDRA members, but there's usually some good competition as well. This year was no exception.

While I was waiting in line for the bathroom, another runner asked me, "Did you see Katie McGregor?" I had not, but I thought it was pretty cool that she was running there. She'd also brought along a couple of her training partners. I didn't see them until they'd lined up at the start--it was pretty cool to be running in a race with such talented athletes.

The race got underway and one guy went out really fast--I could tell right away that if he was going to keep anywhere near that pace there would be no way I could keep up with him. They guy in second was also moving pretty well, though it looked like I might be able to catch up to him eventually.

About two miles in the guy in second turned around and slowed down. I was a little worried--I was afraid we'd made a wrong turn as I could no longer see the guy in first place. It turned out the second place guy just wanted someone to run with, so he stopped and waited for me.

He was in high school and asked me what school I went to. After I told him I was a little bit old for high school, he proceeded to tell me all about his training and race times. He's much faster than I ever was in high school and I wasn't able to keep up chatting with him at the pace we were going, so he did most of the talking. He was just running it as a workout since he had a meet on Monday.

At about four miles Katie McGregor and a couple other runners caught up to the high schooler and I. It actually worked out perfectly because McGregor passed me and that gave the kid someone to talk to who could actually talk. I was able to stay with one of Katie's training partners for the next mile and then tried to pick up the pace at the end.

I was pretty happy with my finish--I was able to run the last mile in 5:30 and finish in 41:16 (5:54 / mile)--fourth place behind the super-fast dude, the high school guy, and Katie McGregor. Last year my goal was to finish in the top five and I missed it by finishing sixth, so I was pretty happy my placement and time this year. I also ran a lot smarter and didn't go out too fast like I did last year.

I also got to run a few cool down miles with Katie McGregor and Michelle Frey--two awesome runners who have both run in the Olympic Trials. It was cool chatting with them and listening to some elite runners and getting some encouragement. How many sports can a regular person compete in and then spend some time with some top-tier athletes?

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