|A solid tech tee|
The Great Black Swamp Festival of Races offered distances of 5K, 15K, and 25K. It might have been wiser with consideration to marathon training to only run the 15K because we were only supposed to have run a long run of 12 miles this week. Nevertheless I chose the 25K for us because, like I said, I like the distance. I wanted to attempt a PR, too.
See me and Joe at the front of that photo? That's how we look when we're unaware that someone is taking a photo of us. We had no plan for pace prior to the race. We did end up running the majority of it together. Joe told me after we started that he'd try to stick around an 8:45 pace. Within the first mile we were doing closer to 8:30.
Long story short, the race started at Anthony Wayne High School. We ran, did some turns, went uphill a little bit, hit the Wabash Cannonball Trail a couple of times, passed the Fallen Timbers mall, and ended up back at the high school. It was a pretty solid course because we were on the road a lot but there was hardly any traffic and where there was, cops held the drivers so that we could pass through. I was surprised by the little amount of wind with which we had to deal, especially being out in the middle of nowhere.
I said we ran the majority of the race together; although we did a good job of maintaining an 8:15ish pace, I was feeling whooped by mile 13. Joe, on the other hand, was feeling all fresh and shit so he pulled ahead at that point. The final mile was a "memory mile." During registration there was an option to enter the name of a deceased family member or friend, so I went ahead and put in Jessica Fernandez--my 16-year old cousin who died nearly two years ago. Along with probably hundreds of other signs lining the last mile of the route, I passed Jessica's name twice (once for my registration, once for Joe's). That was nice. Also, it was cool to see how many people took advantage of that memory mile thing.
There's Joe finishing followed by me a little bit behind at 2:08:16. I PRed by more than a minute and I mostly have Joe to thank. Truth be told, I was feeling like doodoo early on but was having a good time running with Joe so I tried my darndest to hang with him. Thanks, Joe!
That 2:08:16 was good enough for third place in my age group. My prize? A beer glass!