I don't have the official results yet, but will update when I get them.
Finish: 22:16 (new PR)
Unlike yesterday, I actually had mile for my cereal this morning. Everything was going well. I made I left at 6:00 to make it to the race location around 6:30 to give me approximately 30 minutes to go through race prep. THIS is where things went wrong. I don't know why I THOUGHT the race started at 7:00 because it really started at 8:00. Oh well, not much I can do about it now so I just walked around a lot to pass the time and serve as a warm-up.
Since the race was started later than I thought, at about 7:30 I took a pack of Honey Stingerz just in case. Yes, it was probably more of a mental boost to me than anything else.
Since I had the time, I snapped some photos while walking around.
Just a portion of the participants. It was announced we had over 4500 people register.
The food area.
I see people lining up so I decided to head that direction. We had 10 minutes until race time, but figured it couldn't hurt. At 8:00, they announced the race would be starting in another 10 minutes. I figured I might as well snap some pictures:
Facing behind me
It was nearing time. A young girl sang the National Anthem, and did quite well. A priest said a short prayer and then we were off.
As we were going, a guy came up and said he heard me talking about shooting for a 23:xx and asked if I mind if he paced along. Of course I said I didn't mind since I figured it would help me stick to a decent pace as well.
It didn't take long for me to pick out a rabbit to follow. A gal in red shorts passed by and she looked like she was a strong runner so she became the rabbit. Plus, she had great legs so that was a bonus.
I managed to snap a few pics, but they aren't the greatest.
About a minute into the race.
Halfway through the mile with the rabbit out in front.
Garmin had me at a 7:14 pace for the mile so I'm guessing the mile marker was off (I forgot to check). OK, I didn't forget to check, I just wanted to think I was running faster.
Mile two had a gentle incline during it and I was feeling the affects of going out a bit fast. It was getting tough. I was thankful for the rabbit and my pacer.
The water stop was at close the halfway point so I grabbed some water, drank what I could while running, and kept going. I decided to slow down a bit so I didn't blow-up too much during the final mile. As mile 2 drew to a close the guy pacing with me started to pull ahead slightly. My rabbit pulled ahead as well.
I managed to snap a few pics during mile 2.
About a 1/4 mile into mile 2. Rabbit still ahead and in sight.
About halfway through the mile. The guy in the blue shirt is blocking the view of the rabbit. She did pull further ahead during the water station.
The guy in the light blue shirt was the dude pacing with me. Garmin time was 14:31.
Mile three had another gradual incline and I could feel it wearing on me. I knew at this point that it I could hold on and not slow down too much my goal of a sub-23 would be reached.
I only took one picture during this mile because I was focusing on not losing the mental battle and giving into the urge to walk. I lost sight of my Rabbit, but had two guys who decided to make a race of it.
One guy was wearing a K-State shirt and he didn't like it when I passed him at the 2.5 mile point. He stayed close behind me, but I think I finally broke him when I powered up the incline.
The other guy was more persistent. I could tell he was always on my heels from his heavy breathing. He pulled ahead of me just after the 2.5 mile point and that just drove me nuts. I could NOT let this guy finish before me.
I stayed close behind him and when we had about 0.6 miles remaining I made my move. I picked up the pace and passed him. I could tell he didn't like that much as he picked up the pace as well. I already knew that I had won this battle. Although I was struggling, I didn't let it show. This guy was breathing hard and obviously having a tough time. He managed to pull even with me and that was all the motivation I needed to dig a bit deeper and find another gear. It was then that I sensed he was done.
The balloon arch marking the start/finish line started to appear. What else did I see, that's right, the Rabbit! I mustered everything I had drove hard to the finish. It didn't hurt that is was on a gentle downhill. I managed to pass the Rabbit with about 50 yards remaining.
Here is the one picture I took during mile three. The guy in front of me was the one I battled with for a while.
I didn't see what the clock said when I finished and stopped my Garmin a bit late. After the finish I let the volunteer know that I needed to walk around a bit before they cut my timing chip off. It was all I could do to remain standing. I was SPENT! But I set a new PR and was very HAPPY!
I finally made it back to the volunteer and had my timing chip cut off. I thanked my Rabbit for pushing me during the race. I thanked the guy in the picture above for the challenge and motivation and we congratulated each other on a good race. The guy that was pacing with me finished about 5-10 seconds ahead of me. He thanked me for pacing him for the first couple of miles and getting him set up for a sub-23 time. I thanked him for pulling me along after mile 2.
All in all, it was a good race. I do believe that with a bit better pacing I could have possibly went sub-22. As it is I better my old PR by over 1:30 without doing any formal speedwork. Instead I've been running consistently and have lost 25 pounds since May. Bring on the 10K next month, I think I'm ready for my sub-50!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the RR and pics.