The last race of the year was billed as a big showdown between WTAC and the Tuesday Night Turtles but the approaching snowstorm meant that no one was sure how the race would play out. The storm ended up not being that bad and turned to rain overnight - by morning even the rain was just about done. Thanks to Bob Jackman posting on Facebook, I found out on Saturday night that the race had been pushed back an hour. This ended up being quite beneficial for me. We hosted a party on Saturday night and the combination of alcohol and excessive dessert left me feeling bloated and groggy in the morn. By the time I left the house at 9:30, I was feeling much better.
The roads were clear save for a few puddles. I got to Rogers high school, got my bib and did a short warm-up with the WTAC crew. There would be no team rivalry today as not a lot of TNT members made it out. WTAC also had a bunch of no-shows and luckily Jonny was able to switch over to the WTAC Green team to give them enough guys.
|Photo by Jana Walker|
Mile 1 - 5:52
Tried to make a concious effort at the start to not go out to fast and I think I succeeded. Settled into 8th place behind Jeff, Nate and a guy in red. I had on a single and shorts with a hat and gloves and it seemed to be the correct combination.
Mile 2 - 6:02
I didn't have a gameplan going into this race. At the last minute I decided 6 minute miles would be what I'd shoot for. I saw the pace car and the front runners briefly on a long straightaway. WTAC was clearly going to have a big day with Galoob, Garvin and Jonny up in front and Jeff 'n Nate just ahead of me.
Mile 3 - 6:02
This mile's fun as it goes past the ocean and Bretton Point. Big waves out there. I tried to focus on hitting tangents and avoiding the occasional car. Jeff and Nate weren't too far ahead and I began to gain on the guy in red. My head felt warm and I second guessed wearing the hat but soon I was happy that I had it.
Mile 4 - 5:56
Now the race begins. The wind comes across the road as soon as it turns east and there are big swaths of seaweed that washed over the barriers last night. Halfway through this mile I catch the guy in red. Soon after there are a few rolling hills and I catch up to Nate. I pass him and wonder if I'm going too fast. I'm thinking I might run out of steam but decide to stay the course and see what happens.
Mile 5 - 6:00
Just before Mile 5 I hit the walkers that do a 3 mile loop. They're a pain when they walk 4-5 abreast but they weren't as bad as I remember from last year. I see Jeff not too far up head avoiding them and it gives me something to focus on. I'm starting to get really tired and begin checking my watch constantly to see how far is left (something Nate told me he noticed after the race.)
Mile 6 - 6:10
Finally we turn away from the water and head back towards the high school. I can feel myself slowing down a bit and hear footsteps behind me. I'm hoping it's Nate and not someone else. Turned out to be Nate. He passes me and I stay close to him and notice we're gaining on Jeff. The Gazelle must not know that we were catching up to him. As we turn onto the last stretch on Ruggles Nate surges ahead and I know I can't catch him. The last hill becomes exhausting and I'm happy when I pull into the high school driveway and through the chute.
|Photo by Jana Walker|
7th place overall! 8 seconds behind Jeff and 5 behind Nate. 6th member of WTAC to cross the line. WTAC men took the first two team spots and the WTAC women won as well. I took a minute ten off my 10k PR. Did a long 4 mile cooldown with Jeff, Galoob (who won) and Nate and then went to the post-race spread where pretty much everyone won beer and some sort of raffle prize (there were sweet gift certificates up for grabs but by the time they got to my age group the pickings were slim and I settled for some wireless headphones.) WTAC finished off the experience by going to the Brick Alley Pub for a tasty lunch. A great way to end the year of racing.