It’s been a long time…
At the end of October I was asked to help time a trail run near my house. Actually I was asked to time the race two days before the event. I scrambled some pacer friends, procured the club’s clock and decided to race the event. I hoped to finish high enough in the rankings to that I could race and time.
Since the race was just before Halloween I donned the banana suit. I figured that this would give me a pretty good excuse if some of the fast guys showed up for the race. I could always say that I was in a banana suit – what do you expect.
It was a brisk morning, I say brisk but it was really about 50 degrees outside. It was kind of cold standing around but definitely hot while running. I wore an extra-long sleeved shirt while we were milling about before the start of the race. I did get to use all of the banana puns (peel off the extra layers, timing splits, etc.). Funny stuff!
The race started on a slight downhill on a dirt road. I was running fast and wanted to stay at the front. However, there was a girl in front of me. She was running smoking fast down this dirt road. I glanced at my GPS watch and we were in the high 5’s (very high 5’s – like 5:55, but high 5’s none the less). I was not going to put in a pass – this was too fast for me. I fell in behind the girl and stayed about 10 feet back. I was going to stick to the pace as long as possible. Flashing through my mind was a race that had taken place the previous week where a girl won the overall with an 18 high something 5K. I was thinking that if this was that girl then I would have to let her go. Once again, the pace was too fast for me.
I looked at the watch again, we were already a half mile into the race but she was not slowing down. I stayed with her and thought negative thoughts. Something would have to give and soon.
We rounded a corner and saw a long gradual rise before us. Finally, the girl slowed down. She huffed and grunted that she had gone out too fast. I thought – no doubt! I was thankful for the reprieve.
I settled into a very hard but sustainable pace. The route was technical and had many switch backs. I was able to glimpse the second place runner. I did not want to get into a sprint on these trails. I kept the pace up sufficiently enough to take the win.
Not my fastest run by far but it was my best race in a banana suit!