Blue Shoes Awards 2011


Yes, I’m aware that Cold Winters Day is still on the schedule for 2011, but the State gave us 5 days off and I figure I should put them to “good use”. The following is completely unscientific and biased, based purely on my experience.

Best Overall Race:

1) Ray Tanner Home Run 5k/12k – I’ve never done the 5k, but the 12k is a great course in downtown Columbia, going over both bridges and ending in the baseball stadium. Awesome shirts and great crowd support. Ken Lowden does a great job with this race.

2) Governor’s Cup 8k/half – Again a cool and memorable course, if not the best to PR on.  It was a nice tune up for my December marathon. Nice swag with a hat, long sleeve tech tee and finisher’s medal.  3 free preview runs. Kudos to Naomi Haley for making this race even better.

3) Hammer the Hills 10k – Much smaller than the other two – has a crazy hilly course that is challenging but fun.  No shirt but great post-race breakfast and some of the most memorable awards – hammers and other hardware. Yet another great race director job by a fellow runner, Jenn Covington.

Honorable mention: Palmetto Half, Lexington RAH 10k, Snowman 8k, March for Meals 5k

 

Flattest, most PR friendly course

1) Colonial Cup 5k – pancake-esque.

2) Jingle Bell 5k in Lugoff – pool table, with one bump.

3)  Runway Run 5k – Ironing board flat, but the wind is a factor

Hilliest, most brutal course: (Removing the Blue Ridge Relay)

1) Hammer the Hills 10k – Three words: Saluda. River. Drive. Learn to fear these.

2) March for Meals 5k – Like Colonial Cup with Mt. Everest thrown in the middle.

3) Governor’s Cup – You dont see many 1:30 half marathoners walking, but I saw some on Blossom St this year.  Don’t forget Kilbourne either.

Best shirt:

I like tech shirts. I have enough white cotton tees to build a bonfire in my backyard.  I’d prefer a nice design and hopefully without a million logos on the back.

1) Ray Tanner – Same tech shirt as the USC baseball players wear, and a women’s version as well.

2) Cold Winter’s Day – Really nice tech shirt, different colors.

3) Gov Cup – High quality long sleeve tech shirt

Honorable mention: Hot Summer Night and Born in the USA have the best designed cotton tees.

Best Awards:

1) Snowman 8k – Original artwork by the “Chicken Man”

2) Hammer the Hills – hardware. I got an awesome hammer.

3) Rosewood Eagles 5k – Age groups got regular medals, but the 3rd place framed kids picture is my favorite.

Honorable mention: Race for the Place – ceramic painted tiles

 

I dont call out races about doing things wrong, because even if they suck, I’m probably going to run them. I know, I have a problem. That being said, here are the things that races didn’t always do right this year:

1) Extremely well marked courses: This should be the absolute number 1  thing on a race directors list, yet there are always a few misdirects every year. I’d prefer USATF certified,  and posted on a website. At the very least, put up a sign or a volunteer at anything even resembling a possible wrong turn.

2) Cost – Look at what other races charge. And please dont ask me to sign up 6 months in advance to get a discount. 5ks in columbia should be 25 bucks, 30 for 10ks. I like “no T shirt options too – helps slow down the white tee bonfire pile.

3) Bathrooms, anyone? – Runners have GI and urinary systems like a 75 year old guy with an enlarged prostate on vacation in Mexico.  Consider a reasonable amount of portapotties for normal people  and then probably double it.

4) Online registration: Its not 1985 anymore. People use this thing called the internet now.

5) Chip timing: See above. Unless its a small mom-and-pop style race, its going to take forever to sort out the awards with bib tags.

6) Results: See above. Post the results online, quickly. Its not that hard. People want to look at what they did, and not a week later when someone gets around to it.

7) Awards – I have a bunch of generic medals that have nothing on them, so I now have no idea where I got them. I really like something creative and memorable like the races mentioned above.  People are used to three deep in every category, preferably every 5 years. If youre not doing this, at least state it so people wont be disappointed.  Overall winners dont double dip into the age groups.  Large races should have separate masters (40+) overall, or even grandmasters (50+).   Get somebody who’s familiar with running to announce the awards, and try to get them out as soon as possible after the last runner crosses the line.

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Bayler’s Bash 5k – Bishopville, SC – 12/24/11

Bayler’s Birthday Bash 5k in Bishopville,SC  is in its second year, and now on the Palmetto Grand Prix. It started in 2010 to honor Bayler Teal, a 7 year old with neuroblastoma who became an unofficial rallying point for the USC baseball team in their run to the national championship. See here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/sports/bayler-teal-was-south-carolinas-talisman.html. Proceeds from the race go to benefit Palmetto Children’s Hospital.

I ran the race last year, as its pretty hard to find any race going on Christmas weekend. I’m also a huge USC sports fan, and remember Bayler from the news coverage of the Gamecocks that year. Plus, Bishopville is less than an hour away, and home to the legendary OG. Last year had a pretty decent crowd, but was almost all local and mostly noncompetitive.  Since the race was a first year event then, relatively rural, and on a holiday, it fit the Blue Shoes race profile for a possible overall placement. Sure enough, I eked out a 3rd place by throwing down a ridiculous sub 4 kick in the last tenth, as a local kid threatened to take my glory away. I dont think I was real popular in Bishopville that day. I got a nice trophy though.

This year the race made the Grand Prix, and was advertised pretty heavily on the SR website, so I knew there would be no chance of a second trophy. Kevin Kelley, Paul Reardon , Angel Manuel were there, so I knew at the start line the best I could manage would be 4th overall and 2nd in AG.  Billy,Geary, Teo and Jay also made appearances.  I’m usually between Billy and Geary in 5ks, so this would provide a decent gauge of pace. Race was at 9 am, weather was pretty much perfect – sunny, not much wind, and high 40’s. Just short of 200 total runners.

I guess it ‘s worth noting that this is day 6 post marathon for me, so probably not the best training week leading up to this race. I had originally signed up to run it with my brother again, but he bailed yesterday, leaving me “forced” to run it all out.  Monday I could barely walk, Tuesday I was slightly less sore and walked a half mile on the dreadmill, Wednesday I did a very slow 3 miles on the indoor track at Golds, Thursday was the first day back over 75 percent – did 6.5 miles at 9 min pace with the Code.  Friday off except for a walk at Riverfront with the fam.  Today I was feeling pretty good, maybe 85 percent. I debated about how I should run the race for a second, until I put the bib on, and then I knew I’d be race facing it.

I jogged the whole course solo to warm up, around 10 min pace. As I remembered, this thing is flat with a capital F. Total pool table. Similar to Camden, which is the flattest 5k in the midlands.  Basically a nice loop starting and ending on the main street of Bishopville.  Came back from the run and had to wait forever at the one port-a-potty, which is exactly one more than last year. My only gripe about this race.

Start was like Fitness Zone, basically we got called to the line and they blew the horn the second we all got there. The police were caught napping, as the lead car just sat there for a few seconds until we were all blasting around it.  The leaders almost missed the first turn until the cop car pulled a Dukes of Hazzard and peeled out to the left. Leaders were going out crazy fast – Angel later said they were blasting 520ish pace in the first mile. It was kind of a shock to my system after 26 miles of 7:30’s to suddenly go plummeting back into low 6 pace. Ran with Eric M and drafted behind the OG for the first .75,  before passing him on the turn onto Baskin. Hit mile 1 at 6:19, which I couldn’t believe, because I thought were at like 6:05. I guess legs werent liking the abuse so much. Mile 2 was very uneventful, basically maintained pace though all the turns slowed me down a little. Passed 2 guys. Hit mile 2 at 6:24, which I really didnt like. Legs and lungs felt a little better after the initial shock of the marathon to 5k transition, so I ramped up the effort a little. I passed a guy who looked like he might be an age grouper, who apparently didnt like it much, because he then flew past me. I returned the favor after the next turn onto Heyward. I then saw Billy in my sights and started gaining on him. Unfortunately he looked back at the turnaround on Cedar, and I knew I was toast. Sure enough, he blasted a surge and I did not have the oxygen or the motivation to match it. The last straightaway is nice, right down main st with the finish line in sight. Hit mile 3 at 6:14 pretty far from the finish, and knew it would be a little long by Garmin. Made one look back to make sure I wasnt getting a dose of my own blue shoes and cruised in to a 19:44. Good enough for 2nd in age group, 10 year groups. Not my fastest but I’ll take it given I’m still in recovery. Angel luckily placed 3rd overall and kindly removed himself from the AG, with a giant trophy to boot.

A kid I dont know won the  race, followed by Kevin Kelley and Angel.  With all the masters powerhouses in attendance, no one placing in the 40-60 age groups ran slower than 21 minutes – Geary, Billy, Paul, OG all placed. Some guy I’ve never seen before won 1st in my AG. I think the 3rd place guy was the one I was leapfrogging in the last mile. Awards were huge trophies and nice medals. Great race!

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/results/11Bayler.txt

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/136170395

Jacksonville Bank Marathon – Jacksonville, FL – 12/18/11

Jacksonville is this year’s marathon, the distance I’m sure I swore I’d never do again. I’m a short tracker, overperforming in 5ks and doing a lot worse as the distance gets longer. This was never more evident in 2010, when I decided that marathons are what runners do, and that I would try one. I threw myself into training that fall, cranking up my mileage until my IT band decided it was tired of being beat into submission. I hobbled around for most of a week after I did an 8k PR Saturday/26.2 mile training run Sunday, raced a 5k the next weekend and headed to Richmond with a gimpy knee. What followed was a bonk so epic that it makes Chernobyl sound like a minor mishap. Guarded the knee the whole race until mile 17 initiated a death march so painful and humbling that I thought I’d never recover. Whats worse is that the Strictly Running organized, 2 busload trip made the implosion a very public event. Trophy dropped me like a bad habit. I got ass slapped by Team Schmitz and was a spectator to most of my running peers (i.e. Rob, Brad, Jeff B, etc.) passing me the rest of the way.

Thus, this years training for JAX was basically to think of what I did for Richmond, and do the exact, polar opposite. I ramped up the miles more slowly, started earlier, backed off the speedwork, emphasized easy distance over pace. Tapered better. Took 3 whole days off my feet leading up to the race. Decided to follow the Team Schmitz GU/hydration plan.

The Longcreek training group (myself, trophy + K, captain marathon, buckleup, purvis, Mr/Mrs Diesel, Charley, Freight Train) traveled down to Jacksonville on Friday and Saturday. Captain did Boston this year and Purvis has done sub 3:20, so they really had nothing to prove, but the rest of us had some marathon demons to exorcise. Trophy may have left me for dead in Richmond, but fell apart 5 miles later himself. Diesel imploded into a tearful mess in Kiawah in 2010 and missed a sub 4 by less than a minute. Buckleup was running his first marathon but admittedly hadnt run in the past 3 weeks since our last long run. Jen, Charley, Freight Train and Karen were more wisely doing the half. We had a chance to tour the course ahead of time (except for the Diesels and their shopping addiction) , which proved that the race would be completely pancake flat. Almost literally no hills. I started worrying even about this, fearing the never changing terrain would wear out the same muscles…plus it was almost 80 degrees on Saturday. Luckily a cold front was moving in that night.

Sure enough, when we got to the start area about 6:30, it was about mid 40’s and windy. There were probably about 2000 people doing the full, half and 5k. I lined up with Trophy, Ken and Freight Train right next to the 3:30 pace group. Ken hadnt trained much for this race, so he was predicting super slow for him,despite his 3:07 PR. Sub 330 was my goal, and I was going to make doubly sure I didnt go out too fast, which was also a problem at Richmond. Course started with a 5k loop north of the start, then a huge out and back loop for the remaining 37k going south. The start was fairly congested, and it took almost 20 seconds to get to the start mat. Pretty chaotic in the early going, had to dodge quite a few people. I tried my best to keep things slow, and managed an 8:09 first mile, fairly close to what I wanted to do though a little speedy. I instantly started picking up the pace, and Trophy and I separated a bit from the others. We started hitting splits just under 7:50, which we thought was fast but OK, figuring we might need to bank some time early against the 8 minute pace we needed for the 330. I was hitting the water stops hard, because dehydration with cramps and nausea had destroyed me in last years debacle. It didnt help they were giving out half filled shot glasses of fluids. I took my Team Schmitz every-5-mile  prescribed GU right on schedule. Felt OK in the early going, and pace started drifting slightly faster. I was starting to panic slightly though, because my left arch started to rub a bit. This escalated to what I knew was a blister by mile 9. Not a good sign, but I was probably willing to leave my foot a bloody mess to avoid a Richmond Part II. Started getting thirsty as mile 10 hit, and I was fearing a dehydration meltdown. Then,  perhaps from some bizarrre divine intervention, a guy was at one of the houses on mile 10 giving out full water bottles. I thanked this hydration fairy profusely and chugged most of it down with some mandarin orange GU. Disaster averted. Trophy and I continued to drift down into the 7:30’s as we neared the halfway point. Crossed the 13.1 timing mat just under 1:42, which is actually 3 minutes faster than our Richmond half split (before wheels came off). It was a bit of a boost to get past halfway, and by mile 14 I had a strange surge of energy. Trophy asked how I was feeling, I told him “good”, he grumbled something less than good, and then I showed my empathy by abruptly dropping him.  This was a critical point for me, as the first signs of my Richmond death march started on mile 14 as well. But this time I felt good..great really. I had to hold back a little as my pace picked up further into the 7:20’s. Others started dying near me, which added to the sense of speed. I was a little afraid, untrustful of when this burst was going to suddenly bonk out and leave me a crippled mass on the side of the road. As I hit mile 19 or so, I started to feel the fatigue in my quads, but also a glimmer of euphoria that this was going to be very different from last year. Passed Purvis at about 19.5 – he later said he had gone out too fast and paid for it. As I approached mile 20, I realized there was “just” a 10k to go, and Tig’s mantra that “the race starts at 20”.  I was definitely laboring harder by this time, but was still holding pretty good 730ish pace. I had dedicated the last miles last year to family members, but really this had just made me want to cry and wish I was home (especially when youre cramping and doing a walk of shame). So this years mantra was decidedly more vulgar but definitely more empowering: F ___ Richmond.  F the cramping, the pain, the walking, the embarrassment, the near puking, the shredded IT band… because it was absolutely, positively not happening again. It worked. Not that it didnt hurt. I was begging for each mile marker the rest of the way out. My legs were practically numb cinder blocks, but had become so locked in this pacing that they were churning out 7:35s like a metronome. Just maintaing pace made me feel like a champ, because the last 6 miles of a marathon is like a proverbial trail of tears. People walking left and right. My only disappointment was that I was vaguely aware in my end race fog that a sub 3:20 was possible if I picked up the pace. But that wasnt happening. My pace was miraculously staying the same, but my effort had increased 10 fold.  The course takes a very cruel 1.5 mile loop right near the finish, and it took every ounce of mental fortitude to keep going by this point. Finally made it out of the loop and made it to the 26 mile mark just outside the finish line at the stadium, at just under 3:20. Threw down a very weak blue shoes kick, finally going sub 7 pace if even for just a few tenths. Hit the line at a gun time of 3:21:05, chip of 3:20:40. A PR by almost 32 minutes, 115th overall. Totally thrilled with this race, and such a redemption of my first marathon.

Trophy kept up the pace pretty well, and said he only lost sight of me after mile 19. He also finished way under goal, blasting a 3:25. Purvis recovered enough on a tough day to still get 3:32. Captain was just behind him in 3:35. We waited anxiously for Diesel for about 20 minutes until he came flying in at 3:55, meeting his sub 4 goal. Buckleup, despite running once in a blue moon, can still throw down a decent time, and finished his first marathon in 4:05. PRs all around for our half marathoners, Charley by a minute in 1:3x, Freight Train rolled into the station in 1:46, J-Ward rocked a sub 2 with a 1:59, and K crushed a 20 min PR with a 2:09.

http://runningjacksonville.com/search.php?action=search&q=&city=Columbia&gender=0&age=0&raceid%5B%5D=58&year=2011&Submit.x=82&Submit.y=11&Submit=Submit

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/135276639

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Ward

Jingle Bell 5k – Lugoff, SC – 12/10/11

This is my third year doing the Jingle Bell, which is a small 5k held by the Fitness Zone in Lugoff. Its been on the Palmetto Grand Prix since its inception and this year its on the Tour de Columbia courtesy of some lobbying by Mrs. Diesel. The best thing about the race is that its flat – probably 2nd flattest of all the 5ks in the Columbia area behind the Colonial Cup in Camden. That being said,  it seems to be a touch long, despite its certified course status. This is based on my highly scientific method of asking a few people what’s on their Garmin. Basically a loop, first half very slightly uphill, and the reverse on the way back.

http://www.usatf.org/events/courses/maps/showMap.asp?courseID=SC08033BS

I thought I would make a PR attempt here last year and ended up with a bonkapalooza, coming absolutely nowhere close. I will say the 2010 race came in the wake of me shredding my IT band at the Richmond marathon a month earlier.  I cant talk about Richmond due to my PTSD about that race, but just ask Trophy or Team Schmitz, they’d be glad to tell you about it.

I have been fighting a nasty cold all week, which has already led to me catastrophizing about being sick at the Jacksonville Marathon next weekend. I even thought about bailing on this race last night,  and would have, had I not already registered. Luckily I woke up feeling OK and decided to run it as a race. I thought about possibly running it at tempo pace, but my ego cant handle being Trophied.

Got there an hour early and ran 2 miles warmup with Trophy and the Code. Diesel did the last  bit with us before exiting to Chernobylize the Fitness Zone bathroom.  Anton, Greg, Geary, Teo, J-Reeves, Buckleup, Team Diesel, Karen and her Sweet T, Ted, Billy Tisdale and Team Howell were all present. I think the start was running a little late because the RD shouted go about a microsecond after we all toed the line.  Kevin Kelley missed the start and blasted past me about a quarter mile in. Pace was nuts in the first half mile – a bunch of kids went out in sub 5 pace and then crashed and burned, but all us old folks had too much pride not to follow. I hung on to Greg and Billy like a fungus, and I saw Billy keep looking back to see what wild animal they allowed in the race. Hit mile 1 in 6:17, which is a little slower than I thought, but the whole way is slightly uphill. After mile 1 Greg started to give me a case of the dropsies, and Billy surged ahead too. This was too much for my fragile ego to take, so I surged ahead against my better judgement.  I caught back up to Billy, who by this time was probably really tired of being harassed by a panting grizzly bear. Greg blasted even further ahead. There is one decent hill at the turnaround, and I was able to pass Billy, but he passed me back on the ensuing straightaway. They dont close the roads on the backside of the loop so I had to carefully calculate curve tangents and potential death from speeding pickups into my race strategy. Hit mile 2 in 6:26, which is about 20 flat pace, so I knew I had to pick it up to hit my low 19 goal. At this point the course starts a very slight decline, so that helped. Passed Billy again right after mile 2. Greg was remaining strong despite the fact I was started to throw in a dash of early blue shoes. Finally at about 2.5 miles in, I started to gain on him some, which was all the motivation I needed to blast the kick. I had 2 days off leading up to the race because of the cold, and the legs were feeling very strong despite my lungs begging for mercy. I then threw down one of the most vicious kicks unleashed in blue shoes history. Passed Greg with about a quarter to go,  and was running like a headless chicken all the way home, scared to death of Billy coming back, since he usually beats me. Made out the clock at 19 flat at the last turn and crossed in 19:27,  6th overall, 2nd in age group behind the Code. Garmin had 3.16, informal garmin survery all had 3.16-3.18 miles, so probably a shade long.

Jaz Greene, a 15 year old kid who won Springdale, took 1st overall with Anton a mere 7 seconds behind. K. Kelley ended up 3rd despite the late start (18:24) Code took 5th in 18:59. Greg had a big PR with a 19:41, with Billy 10 seconds behind him. Geary finished a shade over 20 and Trophy is on the comeback with a 20:15. Sharon Cole took overall female and Mrs. Diesel managed a 2nd overall, just short of a PR.

Awards were a little chaotic, as they initially excluded the 2nd and 3rd overall male and female winners completely. Diesel must have threatened to break some legs because they eventually corrected themselves and got Anton and J-Ward their medals. I did have them pose for their “first losers” championship picture though.

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/results/11jingle.txt

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/133693336

Next week: JACKSONVILLE!

Jingle All the Way 5k – Columbia, SC – 12/3/11

The Jingle All the Way 5k is a race held in conjunction with the Carolina Carilon parade, where you essentially lead off the parade through the first mile. This race, for whatever reason, has not been one of my best. My first try in 2009 led to my first “shoelace incident”. I was on PR pace when my shoelace and car key started flopping loose, making me have to stop, hold the key and quickly tie the laces back up. I made a valiant effort to regain lost ground and caught up with the pack I was with in the final stretch, only to get a taste of my own blue shoe medicine by Eric McMichael. The guy completely obliterated my kick. This was of course before I knew he could lay down a 54 sec quarter like he was out for a jog. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8tezHE9nyE  Last year I ran what I thought was a strong race, overtaking Amy and Greg with the kick, but still finishing way over 20 minutes (20:15 I think). Its worthy of mention this race has a hill…a long, first gradual, then lung-blasting, lactic-acid-producing, and spirit-crushingly steep incline.  I used to hate it in undergrad, when I had a class at the coliseum and had to hike back to my dorm on top of that mountain. Losing the backpack and about 20 pounds hasnt made it any less painful, unfortunately.

Other than the killer hill, the course is not too bad. You start with about a half mile little loop around main street where all the parade crowd is, reminiscent of the Ray Tanner start. Read: you will go out way too fast. After the loop you plunge down Gervais st into the vista. You will continue to go too fast. Flat stretch on Lincoln St where you will start to feel the ridiculously fast mile you just did, then make a left turn. At that turn, any hope of having a good time or otherwise enjoying your race will be instantly gone. A half mile of pain and suffering awaits, where you will either actually will or will at least contemplate the walk of shame. Course never seems to level out until the Russell House, after which there are some rolling hills that loops you back into downtown and the finish. Oh wait, maybe it is kind of bad.

Got there an hour early, did just under 3 miles warmup with the Code and JB – had to orient JB to Mt Greene St. Start time was 9:45 – which the flyer states is “9:45- sharp!”. Just in case you thought about moseying up there 9:45″-ish”. Temps were 40’s, some wind, not too bad. Even Trophy didnt complain. Fairly sizable crowd, including a trash talking Tigs, who had her sights on taking down the blue shoes after her 19:15 last week.  Code, Trophy/Lady McGaha/Sweet T , JB, Greg, Jen with a race whisperer who looked awfully familiar, Team Allers, Meg, Teo, Geary were all in attendance. Derek Gomez was back from tri season to make the 35-39 AG even more brutal.

The start was bollocks fast, totally pants. I hadnt done any speedwork this week, having twisted my back a little last Sunday, so it felt like I was getting beat down from step one. I was instantly getting gapped by Greg, Tigs, Meg and Derek, and I was trying my psychiatrist best not to switch into panic mode. The crowd seemed a little more subdued than last year, but it still got crazy as we completed the short downtown loop and went flying down into the Vista. My goal was just to hang on to my position on the downhill, because for some paradoxical reason I cant transmit the potential energy of my gorilla physique into any speed on the decline. Finally got to the flat part and hit mile 1 in 6:09 by the almighty Garmin. Wasnt until after mile 1 that I finally caught up with Teo, who must of done just over 6 flat, and was still talking in full sentences. Greg and Tigs were still ahead but closer. I have delusions of grandeur that I’m a good hill climber, having developed Ask Naomi style defined quads from carrying around my sasquatch self, so I hit the hill hard. I started passing people but Greg and Tigs were maintaining pace pretty well. Then we got to the steep part and the hill hit me back..even harder. I havent looked closely at the garmin graph, but by the top of greene I was at a virtual walk. Legs were cooperating OK but that whole oxygen exchange thing wasnt working so well. I did catch up to Greg, who then latched on to me and chased me like a rabid dog. I was sucking wind for about a quarter mile after the hill, in a delirium past the Russell House and my old dorm (Woodrow), lungs begging for mercy. Finally started breathing again on the downslope to Pickens, where Greg had started to gap me again and a nasty 640 split came up on the Garmin. The turn on to Pickens gave me some more motivation, as I could see almost the whole field ahead of me. I started an early blue shoes, as I knew Id have to make up some serious time to even go sub 20. Managed to pass Tigs and caught up to Greg, who was matching the kick pretty well this time. Suddenly I saw the Code who was looking wounded up ahead, with Meg and Derek leaving him behind. Managed to gap Greg right before the turn to the last straightaway and  was painfully close to Code/Meg/Derek, but they were all throwing down pretty hard with the finish clock in sight. Whats worse is that my Garmin had beeped the 3 mile just after the turn, and it seemed like an endless stretch to the finish. Clock was already at 19:40ish when I could make it out, and I just didnt have enough to really crush it at the end. Fell short of the pack in front of me and crossed the line in 20:06, a full minute slower than my last 5k.

Looked at my Garmin, which showed a 6:11 mile 3 split and a 3.20 mile total distance. I know this course is certified, but this thing has got to be long based on my informal Garmin survey and just the slow times in general.  There is obviously the hill to slow things down, but the times are way slower than even that could account for. The bitterness got worse when I realized I placed 4th in age group, missing 3rd by 7th seconds and 1st by 16 seconds. Bummer. Got 13th overall. The guy that won my age group (Brad Bell) also won the AG at gov cup, and must be commuting on weekends from Solon, Ohio. Gotta figure that one out. Plexico easily won by over a minute. Two kids, including a 13 year old, took the 2-3 spots, followed closely by Mr Allers. An out-of-towner won the women’s race, with Meg and Tigs taking the next two spots.

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/RESULTS/11JINGLEALLTHEWAY.TXT

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/images/11jinglealltheway.pdf      Sharp.

http://www.carolinacarillon.com/RaceRoute.pdf    Course Map.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/132734988  Garmin plot.