After crippling back pain on Thursday had me laid up on the couch, all plans for my planned 18 miles went out the window. Although I woke up on Friday feeling better, my coach decided it would be best to play it safe for Saturday. Instead of doing an 18-mile long run with the Greer Earth Day 10-Miler thrown in there somewhere, I would just do the race at an easy pace. Part of me definitely was disappointed to not be tackling 18, because races make long runs go by a whole lot faster. Still, I knew it was the smart move, and this meant I could just enjoy the morning with my friend Pearce without having to worry about anything.
Packet pickup was available the day before at Wild Ace Pizza and Pub, and I opted to snag the packets then. It was quick and painless, but it probably would have been just as easy to do on race morning. Oh well! Downtown Greer is only about 15-20 minutes from where I live, so we didn’t need to leave super early on race morning to make the 7:30 am start. Pearce rode with me since her husband and kids were running the 5k, which started later, and we didn’t want them to have to wait around for too long. She and I got there in plenty of time to sit in the car, hit the bathrooms, and then sit in the car some more once we discovered that the race start was delayed 15 minutes on account of a train that was about to come through town. Oops!
There was also a bit of confusion about where the race actually started. You’d think it would start at the big banner that said “START,” right? Well, you’d be wrong. Apparently, that’s only where the 5k started. The 10k and 10-Miler started a bit down the street, and with the start time and location being a bit of a mystery, Pearce and I were slightly panicked! We took off running through downtown Greer, just hoping we’d be able to follow the markings on the road and not get too lost over the course of the race.
Pearce and I have a tendency to run a pace that is not exactly sustainable when we are chatting away, so our main goal for the race was to avoid doing that. We wanted to limit our walking to water stops only. Despite living pretty close to Greer, I never run there, so I had no idea what to expect from the course besides hills that would probably be similar to the ones I face at home. Fortunately, it wasn’t anything different than we’re used to and the miles ticked by.
A few miles in, we noticed a woman running about our pace who kept very close to us – just a few steps in front or behind. She ended up staying with us pretty much the entire race, although she never said a word. She now knows way too much information about pretty much everything in our lives. I mean, that’s what races are for, right? Revealing every single detail of your life to the person you’re running with? Definitely not for running fast.
I wish I could tell you much about the course, but I cannot, because Pearce and I were too busy talking. We ran through some neighborhoods and did our best not to get lost. The spacing of the water stations was a bit strange – there was nothing until mile 3.5, then mile 6, and then pretty much every mile after that. We walked through each of them but didn’t linger too long since we were feeling good.
We started to feel the hills around mile 8, but fortunately, we were almost done by that point! We picked up the pace at mile 9 and ran the last mile the fastest. Pearce’s kids met us at the final turn before the finish and sprinted in with us, which was absolutely adorable! They are the cutest family. A few seconds after we finished, the woman who had been with us pretty much the whole race crossed the line and ran over to thank us for pacing her! I’m somewhat surprised she didn’t thank us for our very entertaining stories, but then again, given their content, not surprised.
As it turns out, we finished in 1:35:25 on a slightly long course (it was about a tenth of a mile long by all accounts). I’m pretty thrilled with this because it felt easy and we never really pushed hard. When taking the course length into account, that’s really just a few seconds slower than the Green Valley 10-Miler, where I pushed myself for the last few miles. Our splits between the first and second half were pretty much dead on! It’s exciting to see this kind of progress!
I definitely was surprised to check the results and find out that I had placed third in my age group! Y’all, that’s two age group places in a row – there must be something in the water. Or I’m just going to crazy small races, which is more likely the case. Either way, I’ll take it!
LEAVE A COMMENT: What’s your favorite race distance? Ever run a race without really noticing what you’re running past?Another weekend, another age group award! @thetrexrunner is on a roll. Greer Earth Day 10-Miler #racereport #runchat Click To Tweet