Official time: 38:19. 4th overall. 1st in Age Group. Results here.
I had signed up for this race back in December when TriMom had offered substantial discounts on their 2014 schedule. I ran it last year and was pleased with my gutsy performance and was looking forward to another go. Then the Big River 1/2 was scheduled the day before and this race became an afterthought. I had no intention of skipping it and eating the registration fee but Big River was the priority this weekend. If that meant this 10k was to be a shitshow sufferfest, so be it.
The Big River race was a great success and I spent the rest of Saturday free of wife and children. That is to say I was in a state of gluttonous excess. I brewed some beer, drank some beer and consumed a truly awful amount of junk food before dragging my bloated fleshbag up to bed (I did get to bed at the reasonable hour of 10:30 so I guess that's something.) In the morning I awoke groggy and foggy. My calves were quite tight. Since I was the only one in the house dog walking duties fell on me. The walk was short but it did help my legs loosen up. After an hour of puttering and tidying up it was time to head out. I was feeling pretty good now. The cobwebs had been dusted from my brain and I began to look forward to the race. I wasn't worried about my performance and was happy to treat this race like a fun run. Short of my legs locking up and sending my body careening off the bridge, I would consider this race a success.
The race starts at the park-n-ride in North Kingstown on Route 1A and everyone parks on the northbound side of 1A. It's crazy how far away some people have to park - almost all the way to Casey Farm. Luckily my buddy Jay lives very close to the start and I was able to use his house as my base of operations. It was a three minute jog to the start to get my bib and then I returned to Jay's since I had some time to kill. Then another short warm-up before returning to Jay's one more time to grab my sunglasses. The start of the race was delayed a few minutes because they were letting the 5k races start first from Jamestown. Looking around there were a couple fast looking dudes but overall the number of contenders looked pretty thin. I thought that a top 10 finish was likely unless I really ran into difficulty.
The race starts and immediately goes down the ramp and onto Route 138 towards the bridge. The first mile is downhill and fast. Two dudes quickly took off ahead of the pack followed by another two guys. Then it was myself and this fellow Chris I had been chatting with. The road leveled out and we were passed by the lead woman and another man and we formed a pack of four. As the first incline began the pace of the pack dropped. I wasn't working particularly hard and decided to sidestep the pack and move on ahead. I was feeling good and thought I should speed up while my body was responding. If I fell apart latter so be it.
I could tell that I was putting distance on the pack and I wasn't expending that much energy which pleased me. Up ahead the 4th place guy had begun to fall back and I passed him just before the top of the bridge. Here I was, at the top of the bridge with one climb done and in 4th place. I expected that guy to catch me on the descent but he did not and I remained in 4th place as I exited onto Jamestown. This section is always longer than I think it will be and it takes a while to loop through the neighborhoods and back onto the bridge. The crowd support here is very good and lots of folks were lined the streets to cheer us on. The mutton chops were in fine form and well received. They have two water stops within a half mile of each other which is kind of silly but I grabbed a drink at the first one. I tried to listen to the cheers of folks behind me to gauge how close my competition was but I didn't hear much.
Back on the bridge and the second climb is the easiest of the three. 3rd place was far off in the distance. No chance of catching him. I figured that I had a good amount of a lead over 5th based on the crowd noise but you never really know. I tried to keep up the pace as it I seemed that I was climbing better than the others. Once you're on the other side of the bridge it's a long slog. First you descend which is nice but far off in the distance you can see that you have a long flat section followed by the last, miserable uphill. I began to pass 5Kers as the last climb began (they were far over on the right and passing them wasn't a problem.) Last year this section was a grueling affair - I had passed two people but it was difficult work. This year I didn't have that motivation but I tried to push harder just in case. But there was no need to worry. I had a two minute lead over the next runner. I rounded the bend and finished in 4th place! 30 seconds faster than last year.
Afterwards I chatted with a few other finishers and then did a short cooldown. Spent some time milling about and partaking in the standard TriMom mega food offerings until the awards ceremony (nabbed some TriMom bucks for winning my age group.) Obviously I'm very pleased with the 4th place finish. The last few TriMom events saw me finishing just off the podium for my age group so it felt good to finally get an age group prize. And the fact that this came a day after Big River made it all the sweeter. I paid for these back-to-back races with several days of lethargic legs but it was well worth it.