Just had to do another race...well, I really didn't have to but why not! After the Richmond marathon, I have remained in training mode...did a mile after some cardio on Monday, 7 miles after cardio on Tuesday and 7.5 miles then a bit of cardio on Thursday. Steve had mentioned that he was doing a 10 miler...The Cape Henry RunFest and Duathlon...this weekend and since I was thinking of doing at least 10 miles as a training run during the weekend, I thought why not...besides, I have never done a 10 mile race and it would be interesting to see how I would do. Everything was still feeling good after Richmond and no real aches or pains to speak of, so Friday evening after work I went down and signed up at packet pickup.
The event is a multi-sport event that takes place mostly in Fort Story which is on the north end of Virginia Beach. The main event was the Duathlon...5K run, 32K bike and 5K run. They also have a 5K walk/run and the 10 miler. The 10 mile course winds through different sections of Fort Story with a couple of good hills...one which we go over twice. I've run most of the course at last years Army/Navy 10K and early this year for a 20K that was part of the Tidewater Striders Distance Series...so I was familiar with the terrain. The number of participants for the 10 miler was only a bit over 200...small but fun.
The weather was initially cold in the morning...in the low 40's...with a 4-5 mph breeze, which later warmed up nicely at the end. I got up around 5:45 with no sense of urgency since the start time for the 10 miler was at 8:30. I showered and ate breakfast and got my stuff ready and left the house around 7:00...thinking I had plenty of time to get there, get my chip, get a potty break in and get to the starting line...besides it's only about 30 minutes away. I get down to the gate entrance into Fort Story and the line of cars trying to get in seemed to be a mile long coming in from two directions and seemed to take forever to get through the gate. The time on my watch is a few minutes after 8:00 by the time I get through and the caravan of cars seemed to crawl through some winding back roads to the parking area. I finally get parked about a quarter mile away and try to walk/run to football field to get my chip. Once I get to the main area, I see Steve and his wife and can only manage a quick hello as I rush to get my chip. I do get my chip and even have time to wait in line at the port-a-lets before heading to the start line and get near the start mat about the second row of runners back.
The horn goes off at 8:30 and we are off. It is a very winding course with many loops and turn arounds. Looking at the course map provided, it was very confusing, but running along the course, there are traffic cones and volunteers stationed at almost every intersection to direct runners which way to go. The first mile comes in at 6:39...a little fast but I was planning on around a 6:45 pace to see if I could handle it. The next mile, I missed pushing my lap button on my watch, takes us up one of the hills, which I notice we will have to come back over near the finish because I also see the 9 mile marker there. The third mile comes in at 20:56 and the fourth shows 27:15. The fourth mile involves going around a block long loop and coming back we are able to see the rest of the pack coming the other direction. We come to mile 5 at 34:06 and mile 6 at 40:59. From miles 2-3 the field of runners have thinned out and by mile 5 I have set my sights on two runners about 100 yards ahead of me and make steady progress towards them. At the second water stop, one of them drops to a walk and I pass him grabbing my cup of Gatorade and the other slows a bit to get some water but still is a few yards ahead. I finally over take him around the 6 mile mark and a short ways later we come to a turn around point and head back. Mile 7 is yet another out and back and comes in at 47:56. By this time I have set my sights on another target a couple of hundred yards ahead and proceed to close the distance slowly. Between mile 7 and 8 we go over another hill and I have closed to about 50 yards and mile 8 comes in at 54:51. On the flats my prey speeds up and I try to maintain our distance. We get near mile 9 and the final hill and I push it a bit because I know we only have about a mile left but so does he. Mile 9 comes in at 1:02 and we head downhill and he seems to be drawing away again. I try to push it to the end and try to kick it in for the final 200 yards as I can see the finish mat...the final 100 yards are through the grass and finally I hit the finish mat and it reads 1:08:30 something and about 15 seconds behind the runner I was chasing. I meet him at the chip removal area and we congratulate each other. Seems he was aware of me but he was trying to set the record for his age group for this race...55-59. I find out he had just turned 55 a couple of months before and he had also set the record for the 50-54 age group with a 1:05...So I was kind a happy that I had been able to keep up with him. When the times are posted later, we find out he missed setting the record by about 10 seconds...he was close. My chip time was 1:08:30 and finished 1st in my age group.
There were 10 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 214 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 12 of 214
Age group finish place was 1 of 10
Time: 1:08:30 for an overall pace of 6:51 per mile
I later watched some of the Duathlon participants racing up the road on their bikes, going through their transition and finally finishing their run as they cross the finish line...thinking...I could do that!