Red Shoe Run 5k – Columbia,SC – 1/26/13

Red Shoe 2013 102

The Red Shoe Run is a 5k and 10k put on by Ronald McDonald house that was known in years past as the “Red Nose Run”. Apparently they lost the sponsorship of the circus, hence the name change. The  name is referencing the shoes of Ronald McDonald, a clown who was my personal nemesis in elementary school.  Him and that bastard Old McDonald and his farm.

So somehow I’ve done this race every year, despite the fact that I’ve pretty much sucked every time I’ve run it. I started in 2009, when it was held on the coldest day in Columbia since 1986. The low was 9 degrees that morning, and I ran the 5k in full sweatsuit regalia, adding another couple of pounds to my less than svelte frame at the time. I about died sprinting out the last 100 meters to finish in a blazing 25:36. I did the 10k the next year, when they had a really cool course that crossed over the blossom and gervais st bridges into Cayce. I think I ran about 45 minutes and didnt place in my age group. Oh, and it was a beautiful 34 degrees and in a frigid downpour. The next two years they modified the course to take out the scenic aspect of the 10k and made it 2 miserable loops of the 5k course. Awesome.

I had gone back and forth about which race to run this week, and finally decided on the 10k. Yes, it sucks to climb the monster hill that starts the course twice, but its still a lot better than trying to do it once at 5k pace. Also, I need to start doing more 10ks to whittle down my PR of 41:23, which is way slower than what it should be based on the 5k PR (18:46).

So I get there and have just placed the 10k registration in the volunteer’s hand when Jordan from Strictly comes over and tells me everything’s changed. They’re doing major construction at the Coliseum area, so the course had to be switched to the BGCM Turkey Day 5k course, which made the 10k uncertified, and changed the Palmetto Grand Prix race to the 5k.

Holy crap, my whole carefully planned race strategy was now completely in up in the air. I impulsively switched to the 5k when I heard “uncertified course”.  But then I realized that all the big dawgs were switching to the 5k too, and I might be missing a rare reverse undercard trophy possibility in the 10k. I’m  embarrassed to say how much I agonized over this ridiculous meaningless decision. I almost switched back a dozen times, but eventually I figured that there would have to be a complete “kids and old ladies” field for me to overall place in a 10k, so I just stayed put.

Sure enough Jason Dimery, Howie Phan and a few lean looking dudes in singlets lined up for the earlier 10k start, so that at least released me from my trophy fantasy. Mark Robertson, Jim Lichty , Valerie Selby and Travis Cowan also manned up for the longer distance.

5k start was loaded with all the Palmetto Grand Prix champs from 2012, since Strictly comped them all an entry into this race. Sadly, they had nothing for Mr. 13th place. John Sneed, J-Lybrand, Geary, Billy Tisdale, Amy McDonaugh (with Justin “A Standard” Bishop guiding) Birgit Spann, Sharon Cole, Lightning Plexico, Thomas Tapp, Albert Anderson, Arnold Floyd, Henry Holt and Rocky Soderberg were all present with the PGP champion gold racing bibs. Joining me in the ranks of mere mortals were Trophy, Jen/Diesel/Brady Ward, Gasque, Pete Poore, J-Reeves, and Palmetto 200 ringer Andy McNiece.

I was so not feeling it at the start, but I had made my bed so i’d better lie in it. One bonus was that only Amy, Justin and Plex were from the open division in the PGP.  Andy was sure to beat me too, so what I saw was basically a battle between Billy and I for 5th place. The start felt rough and immediately I saw Amy and Justin leave me for dead, and Billy started gapping me right off the bat.  After a flat quarter mile, the course goes straight up a mountain from the Colonial Center to the Horseshoe. Although I was able to basically draw even with Billy at the top, I had also lost my will to live somewhere just past Assembly. Or at least the will to run like a headless chicken and suck wind for the next 15 minutes. I missed the one mile split but looked down at about 1.1 and saw the watch flip over to 7 minutes, so I knew this was going to be ugly. Billy was a few paces ahead, but it was starting to get congested as we caught the tail end of the 10k, which started 7 minutes before the five. Why they couldnt have everybody go off at the same time is beyond me. So the second mile is very difficult to pace because there’s no other 5kers around me, and the back of the 10k is going at 12 minute pace, which makes me feel like I’m a total beast. It doesnt take much for me to lapse into delusional grandiosity. I just try and keep Billy in range, with our typical give and take of me  catching up on the hills and him gapping me on the declines. Mile 2 feels slowish so I dont bother to look at the split. I figure I need to make up some serious ground on mile 3 or I’m going to post something really ugly, and/or get blue shoed by Geary or maybe even Trophy. So I do kick it up a notch, but there’s considerably less motivation in just trying to not suck versus striving for your best. The good thing is that the last mile is a flat to downhill loop near Longstreet Theatre, passing by such revered collegiate Blue Shoe landmarks as Hunter Gatherer and Sandy’s Hotdogs. After a turn at the back of the State House, its straight down that awful opening mountain. Blazing fast by default. By this time though I’m really phoning it in – the only glory up for grabs is sprinting to catch Billy, and between his kick and my apathy its just not happening. I make the last turn and its already 19:20 something. I do throw in a feeble effort to break 19:40 but end up right on it. 6th place overall, 1st in AG.

Certainly less than overjoyed with the time, but I was able to cross the finish and not collapse in a sweaty, heaving mess as I’m prone to do. I ran the exact same time on Thanksgiving day on the same course and about blew out a set of heart and lungs in the process trying to beat my brother. Plus, last mile was in 5:59, so a sub six mile is always nice, even if it was freefalling down a half mile of mountain. Hopefully I can ratchet it up a few notches at my next race, which is Race for the Place on Feb. 9.  Last year Gomez took 3rd in AG at that race..with an 18:36.

In the 10k, Dimery crushed a sub 37 on a really tough course, so he’s definitely returning to form. Two of the singlet kids took 2nd and 3rd, while 16 year old Anna Johnson won the women’s race. I probably would have finished 7th in the 10k, so good thing I didnt switch. Mark finished 2nd in AG while Lichty finsihed 3rd in strong races for both of them. Howie Phan predictably torched his age group by 5 minutes, while Valerie Selby and Alex Ponamarev also placed.

In my race, Plex easily won in 17:20 followed by Andy. Justin placed third by guiding Amy to an 18:36, a new PR, and the women’s overall win. Very impressive.  Fifth went to Billy, who finished five seconds ahead of me. Second place female went to Lache Kimana, who unmercifully chicked the Trophy, with Birgit Spann not far behind for third. Brady Ward made the Diesels proud by winnign his age group by a mere 20 minutes. Mrs. Diesel claimed first in the 30-34, while Trophy broke through the Blackjack barrier en route to a 20:45, 2nd in AG. Sharon Cole claimed first in the 45-49, while 50-54 was swept by Billy, Thomas Tapp and Gasque. Geary and Albert Anderson each crushed their age groups, while Pete Poore placed 3rd in the 60-64. John Sneed and Arnold Floyd had an epic fight to the finish, with Arnold holding off a vicious Sneed kick. Both finished first in AG. Rocky Soder berg and Henry Holt finsihed 2-3 within ten seconds of each other, while Margaret Holt also won her group.

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/results/13redshoe.txt

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Snowman 8k – Caughman Road Park – Columbia, SC – 1/19/13

 

snowmanstartThe Snowman 8k is a race that’s quietly been one of the oldest and most competitive events in the state, held at Caughman Road Park – a small, almost rural facility near Lower Richland High.  This race, in part because of the decent prize money, has produced some of the fastest 8k times I’ve seen.  Its often won by some pro out of state, and when that doesn’t happen, Eric Ashton is usually there to pick up the check.

That’s not to say this is a fast course. Far from it. I went in completely blind to the layout in 2011, went way too fast in the mostly downhill first mile, and suffered an epic death march most of the way in. Schmitz taunting me in mile 4 still haunts me.  Just a cursory review of the course map would have shown roads like “Cliffside Drive” and the “Dominion Hills” neighborhood, so I should have known. Essentially its a net downhill first mile, followed by a mountain, then constant rolling hills until a pretty flat mile at the end.

I got to the race my customary hour in advance and had to sign up, because this race still holds on to snail mail only registration. The theoretical probability of me finding an envelope, my checkbook, a stamp and remembering to sign up are essentially zero. Luckily the race provides a “no-tshirt”  option, which saves me getting the race-day gouge and from adding to my monumental pile of white race shirts.

Other than the registration issue, this race definitely treats its runners pretty well.  CRC member Lisa Smarr directs, so when you have someone who knows about racing themselves, there’s usually a good outcome. They get local artist Ernest “Chicken Man” Lee to make paintings for the awards, which is exponentially better than a generic medal. You get lunch, and they even go 5 deep in awards for some of the male age group categories. This is on top of cash awards for first clydesdale, athena, and active and retired military.

After showing up I did a warm up with Ted and Billy. There was a big crowd, but I didnt notice as many elite level people this year. No professional singlet wearing dudes/ladies. Ashton was there, and I didnt see anyone else that was even in his ballpark. Dimery , Hedgecock and Gregory Jones were the only guys that I knew would beat me. Kenzie was clearly going to win the women’s race from what I could tell.  Flicker was there to defend his Clydesdale trophy. Aubrey Johnson was making a rare appearance since going off to college. Masters elites Albert Anderson and Birgit Spann were good bets to pick up some cash awards. Diesel was finally breaking free of “coaching” (aka “hiding behind”) his son Brady so we could finally see him race for the first time in months.  Jen was taking his place with Brady.

Trophy was MIA. Through my CIA level intelligence gathering, I knew he was stealth trophy hunting in Augusta. Turns out he got 4th in age group in a misdirected 5k. Serves him right! Speaking of MIA, WHERE IS THE CODE? Pride injuries take a while to heal I guess.

Ken Lowden and seemingly his entire SR crew were on hand. Sarah Blackwell, Ponamarev, Henry Holt, Frank Eichstadt, J-Reeves and daughter Rachel, Gasque, Amanda, Valerie, Mark and family, Mike and Pam Griffin were some of the familiar faces. Meg Weis showed up seven months pregnant, which was awesome to see.

I mistimed my preparation to the start line, so when they sounded the horn, I was caught strapping on the camera belt and trying to reset my Garmin while trying not to get trampled. It was probably good because it distracted me from the forgotten fact that the race starts uphill for the first quarter.  By the time of the first turn, the pack had already thinned out a lot. Ashton was in another zip code, followed by Dimery. Hedgecock and Kenzie were running together with a kid and Gregory Jones in the same vicinity. Billy and I were already battling it out.  We hit the long downhill in mile 1 and he blasts ahead, knowing exactly how much I suck on the declines.  My race strategy was to take it easy on the first mile, and try to average in the 6:20’s overall. This all went to hell when I saw Billy gapping me pretty bad. I surged to keep closer. I didnt know my pace at mile 1 since my Garmin was offset from the start. Soon after the mile marker we hit the mountain that drained my will to live in 2011.  Garmin then spits back a 6:08. Nice job, hero.  Way to show some restraint.

I did manage to power up the mountain and draw even with Billy before he dropped me again on the ensuing decline. This basically happened for most of the next few miles. All rolling hills.  I felt like complete death. Nothing is worse for me than going out too fast, and I’m betting the actual first mile split was closer to six flat. I kept cursing my self, spouting internal f-bombs when I wasnt having Flicker hallucinations.  Somehow I had forgotten that Scott was running Clydesdale and that my age group was in jeopardy. So every time my belt made a noise I was deathly afraid of him blue shoeing me.  Turns out my pace wasnt fading as bad as it seemed…my last Garmin check was at about 3 miles, 6:21 was the last split. After that I just ran by feel. And by feel, I mean the pace that was going to get me to the finish line without collapsing. Mile 4 was the worst. Sun started beating down, still a few nasty inclines.  Sucking wind like there’s no tomorrow. On the upside, they started letting traffic in behind me, so I figured I at least I had a decent gap on the ghost of Scott Flicker.

And I was at least keeping Billy from getting too far ahead.  On the last hill I drew pretty close, and tried to silence a volunteer who was yelling at me to bring him down. Ruining my stealth with your encouraging cheers – jeez! Sure enough he blasted ahead on the last decline as we headed on to a dirt road on the last mile. From the dirt road/Trotter road intersection, there was a half mile to the  finish, having scouted the course just before the race. Billy looked back for a second, but I darted behind a bush at the corner, so I couldnt tell if he saw me. I was in a world of pain on the last stretch. I kept alternately giving up on catching Billy then getting overwhelmed by my dark, maniacally competitive side and surging closer. I was just about to close on him when he sensed the finish line and kicked it in, breaking my spirit in the process. When we head into the park driveway I see the sub 32 almost in reach. I try to blue shoe it but I am complete toast. I cross the line in 32:02.. 8th overall, 1st in age group. 26 second PR!

Then I turn around and see that I’ve been running from no one. Flicker does come in next in 33:11, winning the Clydesdale by like 15 minutes.  Ashton ended up winning by 5 minutes, which was no surprise. Dimery took second and the kid, Brady Rafanan, ended up outkicking Hedge (masters winner) and Kenzie to finish 3rd. Kenzie won overall female by 3 minutes over Anna Johnson and Birgit Spann. Carol Wallace and Greg Jones took grandmasters,  while Nita Eichstadt and Albert Anderson took great grandmasters. Frank Eichstadt won great great grandmasters in 38:59. Impressive.

Age groupers included J-Reeves’ daughter Rachel winning 3rd in the 20-24, Jen Ward winning the 30-34, Amanda and Sarah going 1-2 in the 35-39, with Matt McGrievy taking 2nd in my age group. Diesel took 4th.  Ted Hewitt and Mark Robertson took 1st and 3rd in the 40-44, while Dana Burgess and Lisa Hart did the same in the female division. Teresa Harrington, Sandy Smith and Coleen Strasburger swept the 50-54, while Billy, Mike Griffin and Tom Hart placed in the men’s. Valerie Selby continued her domination of the 55-59 and Patti Lowden took home first in the 60-64.  Del Soule and Ken Lowden went 1-2 inthe 65-59 while Henry Holt and Jesse Smarr won the 75-59. Lonnie Collins was the oldest finisher, winning the 80+ category.  Oh, and Meg finished the race in 54:55, which is a little off her usual pace, but I guess I’ll cut her some slack.

http://www.rmssports.com/results/13snow.txt

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Snowman 2013 lisaA

MLK 5k – Columbia, SC – 1/12/13

mlk 2013 alex1

The MLK 5k is one of Columbia’s older races, now in its 23rd year. It’s organized by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and goes to benefit their charity, Bridging the Gap.

I missed the race last year in my ill fated attempt to break 1:30 in the Charleston Half Marathon. Those 22 seconds still hurt.  My only time running this race was in 2011 – I remember my run sucked (20:09 with a death march) but the race was a good one. Well organized, timely awards, interesting course.

This time around I was going to race it better. The course does have its share of rolling hills, but is generally flat in the Shandon area. The standout feature is definitely “the mountain”.  You start at the foot of said mountain, and get to bathe your legs in lactic acid right off the bat climbing the thing. Kind of like starting the race with a punch to the stomach. Or maybe the lungs. Either way, sucks. On the flip side, the course is an out-and-back, so you get to freefall back down the thing on the way home.

I had little hope of trophy hunting in this race, since its Palmetto Grand Prix as well as Tour de Columbia.  Sure enough, there certainly was a host of masters all-stars on hand: Arnold Floyd, Lynn Grimes, Lorikay Keinzle, Rocky Soderberg, Tisdale, Henry Holt, Birgit Spann,  Albert Anderson and Thomas Tapp. I knew Paul Reardon was coming, so that took one trophy spot away, and then Plex showed up, so that would give me 3rd at best.  Angel was there too, but announced at the last second he wasnt running, so at least my age group was up for grabs. J-Reeves, Brie McGrievy, Valerie Selby, John Gasque, and Pete Poore were representing the CRC.

I was feeling some pressure at this race, since I had just laid down 3 straight sub 19’s in the past 3 weeks, including a win at the VDP 5k on New Years Day.  I still have no idea how this sudden breakthrough came about. I mean there was the Moses Mosop video that I had been studying, but I think its mostly been mental.  As in actually believing I can hold a ridiculous pace. 5ks basically come down to how much suffering you can endure, and that seems to be my specialty. Just look at my finish photos. Whenever I start thinking I’m too cool, all I have to do is look at one of those pics. Damn I’m an ugly runner.

So WLTX’s Darci Strickland does the start, and immediately I abandon all sense and go charging up the mountain.  Bad idea. By the time I reach the top I’m pretty obliterated.  Generally its poor form to be gasping and heaving a quarter mile  into a 3.1 mile race.  You see, who need Runners World when you have advice like that? I feel Billy riding my shoulder again, and the suffer train has left the station. It takes me the whole 1st mile to regain any semblance of efficient oxygen exchange, and Paul has already left my zip code. Thankfully, Billy is still behind me…somewhere. First split was called out to me as 6:15, but my Garmin has 6:23. There’s a kid ahead of me about 20 meters and another guy right in front of me sporting a very new looking Spring Valley high cross country singlet. I tucked in behind him for most of the second mile, though who am I kidding about being able to draft off of anyone. I never look back, so I rely on my official trophy hunting in-race intelligence gathering skills to figure out Billy – 1) cheers/time calls of volunteers behind me and 2) whether the cops let any cars pass after i go through the intersection. In the second half of mile 2,  these signs tell me I’ve opened up a decent gap. Mile 2 caller gives me a 12:35 split, so I know I’m way off the sub 19.  What’s worse is Mr. Spring Valley leaves me in the dust and overtakes the kid ahead of him in the next half mile. I’m pretty much hating life at this point. I’ve apparently abandoned all form and have been unconsciously tensing my arms into a crippled velociraptor pose, so even my arms are freaking tired.  But if I can just hang on to get to that downhill.  Despite my lungs exploding and my honey bunches of oats wanting to make a repeat appearance, there is potential roadkill ahead, so of course I go for it. Just before the mountain I finally overtake the kid that Spring Valley took down earlier, and I go flopping down the mountain like a headless chicken. So much so, it seems, that the kid is riding my tail. Halfway down and I can feel it happening without any power to stop it….I’m getting blue shoed. DAMN YOU KID.  Total sucker punch to my wilting spirit to live at this point. I turn the last corner and amazingly can still see the 18’s. I try to muster a kick but you can stick a fork in me. I cross in 19:16. 5th overall, 1st in age group.

Three weeks ago and I’d be thrilled with this result, but I’m pretty disappointed to be honest.  Wasted way too much energy on that initial hill and I was running on fumes the rest of the way out. Just felt way worse than usual. Should probably lay off the wings, raw fries and beer the night before. Oh, and I forgot to mention it was almost 70 degrees. In January. Man, with all these excuses I’m starting to sound like the Code or Trophy.

Plex easily won the race in 17:18. Paul ran the whole race by himself as well, finishing 2nd in 18:40. Spring Valley , also known as Hugo Rodriguez, crushed that last mile to place 3rd in 19:02. The kid was 19 year old Wells Thomas, who finished 5 seconds ahead of me. Billy pulled a 19:45 on a rough day for him too.  Albert Anderson is amazingly getting faster again at age 64, crushing a 20:26 en route to an 80+ percent age grade. Birgit Spann also went 80+ to finish 2nd overall female in 20:45. 16 year old Anna Johnson won in 20:37. Lorikay Kienzle finished third. Age groupers include Thomas Tapp, who also placed 10th overall and 2nd in AG behind Billy. Brie McGrievy had a strong race and won first in age group, despite John Gasque pulling an epic blue shoe on her. An increasingly lean and mean Valerie Selby scored yet another AG win, while Lynn Grimes, Pete Poore, Arnold Floyd, Rocky Soderberg and both Henry and Margaret Holt also took home some AG glory. Interestingly, the male 70+ AG was more competitive than the 25-29. 30-34 and 40-44 groups. Hopefully I can still be out there in 2045!

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/results/13MLK.txt

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/261180109

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Cold Winter’s Day 5k – Columbia,SC – 12/29/12

Ah, Cold Winter’s Day. The end- of- the -year,  all-the-big-dawgs-show-up blowout to decide who’s the best 5ker in SC.  It’s a special race for me, since it was my first in Columbia. I came to this race in 2008 not knowing a soul and having no clue what the course was like. I wanted to break 23 minutes, but ended up sprinting to what I thought was the finish only to find out I had another half mile to go.  That last half mile about killed me, and I look as bad as I felt:

CWD08

I failed miserably at the sub 23, sprinting with everything I could to get a 23:59. It was still a PR at the time though, after a year of being unable to run consistently with bad shin splints. In 2009, I was jacked up to redeem myself and to make a try at my first sub 20. Instead I got one of my most awesomely hideous finish pics:

CWD09

Wait, did you catch that? Let’s take a closer look.

CWD09b

Wait ladies, dont get too excited. Soooo much of the sexy right there.  In 2010 I did finally break 20, though it was a brutal race with wind and snow/sleet. Got a 19:47 , though not one of my better efforts of the year.  Me and Brumbach look like a couple of street thugs in this pic, and Drew like a total maniac.

CWD10

In 2011,  I actually did run one of my best times of the year, a 19:24. What did I get for it? Gomez blue shoed me, Greg kicked my tail, and I finished in 51st place, like 8th in age group.  Oh, and it was like 40 degrees warmer.

cwd2011

So despite getting progressively faster in this race,  its not exactly been glorious. I’ve never even come close to age group placing.

I really didnt think I had much chance of getting AG glory this year either. Jordan Lybrand had told me Strictly had invited some elites, as if it wasn’t tough enough already. I figured that even if I had a crazy performance like my first sub 19 last week, I had only an outside chance of getting 3rd.

I showed up my customary hour early, though the 10 am start is nice to get some extra sleep. Did a warmup with the Code, Trophy and Billy.  I could attempt to name the familiar faces at this race, but really just about everyone in the Columbia running community comes out for this one. The only thing that made me remotely hopeful of age grouping is that Angel was hurt, and Yerger , Drew Williams, Stephen Johnson and Gomez were all MIA. A strange 35-39 year old hole in the competition. Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, there are plenty of stealth age groupers out there that never race except to dash my trophy hopes at the worst times. Damn you surprisingly fit suburban dads.

Selwyn bills this course as “flat and fast”.  As a psychiatrist, I can assure you this man is delusional. I think you’d have a hard time finding any flat surfaces on this course, save for the bridges.  Basically a loop course that almost constantly rolls. There are definitely some extended downhills though that seems to produce some decent times, and the finish is like a roller coaster drop.  So I’ll give you fast, Selwyn.

Big crowd for this race, though the top end seems a little thin this year. The winner of the Jailbreak 5k, Scott Wietecha, is there, undoubtedly out for the prize money and the sub 15 minute bonuses. No Ashtons , A-Standard or Plexico.  The start sucks.  A quarter mile of pure, definitely not flat, hill.  Like a punch in the stomach right off the bat. I power up the thing but damned if Billy is already trying to psych me out, surging right past me. I catch up to him at the top, and then pass him on the way down a half mile of downhill. I hear someone deliberately stomping their feet right behind me, so I give that someone, who I thought is surely the Code,  the one finger salute. Turns out its actually Billy again, who keeps surging every time I pass him. I have no idea where the Code is, but figure he must be near. Up another non-flat hill to the first mile marker. I’m disappointed to see 6:12 on the clock, because I am already sucking some wind.  A long not-flat downhill  after the mile mark and Billy is all up in my s$%t again, passing me on both sides, cutting in front. Some serious psychological warfare here.  I concentrate on keeping the pace strong. Up ahead is Amy, being guided by Drew Soltau. I use them as a pacer, trying to keep them within 20 meters or so.  Then comes the beast, a decidedly not level , nearly half mile of incline. I’ve had enough of Billy’s Guantanamo Bay tactics at this point and set the freak quads into action. In powering up the mountain,  I start nearing Amy and Drew, and finally pass them just after the ensuing not-flat downhill. I give them the thumbs up but I’m breathing like I’m on crack, so I don’t know if I actually verbalized anything. Mile 2 clock says 12:15 or so, so I know I’ve picked up the pace some. When I pass mile 2 I just go to some very dark place and dig deep. Time to throw down whatever I’ve got.  I’m so zoned out that apparently I completely missed a big single car accident scene on the side of the road. Everybody was talking about it later, put apparently I was just listening to that maniacally competitive dark passenger in my head.

I hit the faux finish from 2008 and ramp it up another notch. More rolling non-level terrain. I have no idea what my pace is, but suddenly I realize I’m passing Claudia, who has consistently kicked my ass for most of the past 2 years. See below:

raceforlifefinish

I’m in a world of pain by this point but I see Kenzie just up ahead, so I work on trying to catch her. I’m slowly drawing near but then we hit the last stretch, a freefall to the finish. I’m so tired I now I’m just flopping around, form going all to hell. I catch sight of the clock and I’m astounded its at like 18:30ish. One more notch of torture and I’m now pulling sub 5 pace to the finish, crossing the line a half step behind Kenzie, 18:52.  Strictly didn’t have an official finish photo for me, wisely cropping out the sasquatch to get the first overall female, but I do have Angel’s pic, which I like to call “Beauty and the Beast”:

CWD12

15th overall…and shockingly..1st in age group. Another sub 19! I got my precious trophy. And all was good. Even cooler was getting to witness Tigs finally get back to sub 20 land, which I know has been a monkey on her back for a long time. This pic Angel took , with Eric cheering her finish, was awesome:

CWDtigs

Also won her overall female masters.  Scott Wietecha won the race with a 14:57. Nuts. Kenzie and Claudia went 1-2 in the female overall, despite interference from the albino sasquatch. Paul Reardon took male masters with an 18:37, and Guantanamo Billy did take grandmasters. Lynn Grimes went sub 25 en route to female grandmasters, while ageless Nonie Hudnall and Albert Anderson won senior masters.  Age groupers include all 4 Golbus kids winning trophies, and Kenneth Vowles running a strong sub 20 to win 1st in his AG. Shannon Zeiders took 3rd in the 20-24, while racing machine Jennifer Lybrand won 2nd in the 25-29. Jason Dimery outkicked an out-of-towner by 4 seconds to take the 30-34, while Kristin Schmitz won the same group in the female division. Will Brumbach placed 3rd in the 35-39, while Amy cruised to 1st in her age group, with Marian Nanney taking 3rd. Eric Allers just outkicked Jason Gibson to go 1-2 in the 40-44 men, with Shannon Iriel taking 1st among the women over Shanequa Coles. Greg Howell continues to throw down good times despite recent injury and took 1st in the 45-49. Sharon COle took 2nd in the same division.  Thomas Tapp and Drew Walker both managed AG places with Tawanna Dennis taking 3rd in the 50-54. Geary, Pete O’Boyle and Carol Wallace won in the 55-59, while Patti Lowden and Alex Ponamarev won in the 60-64. Power couples John and Nancee Sneed and Henry and Margaret Holt dominated the 65-69 and 70+, with Jesse Smarr taking 3rd.

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/results/12cold.txt

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http://connect.garmin.com/activity/255578978