This past weekend, I was able to run my first 10k. Since the race was at 6am, I woke up at 4:15 in order to get ready and drive 30 minutes to the site. Waking up at this time, on purpose, was not too exciting for Rebecca (since we have a 9 month old), but thankfully she was more than willing to do so. Once we got to the race location, I was able to meet up with Richard and Tim (who were both running the 10k with me). We also met up with our friend, Mindie, and her family. Mindie was running the Half-Marathon!!
At 6am sharp, the Half-Marathoners were headed off, in the dark, for their run. It was time for the 10k participants to get in thier projected pace areas. Tim and I got in the 8:00-10:00 min/mile section and felt a little out of place, not that we didn't know our paces, but we were among the only ones in the group. The 10k had around 450 runners and there were probably 25 of us in the two sections that made up the >10min/mile. I told Tim that I wanted to run my first 2 miles in the 8's and allow the rest of the miles to be in the low to mid 9's. He told me that he was going to try another method that had him starting off at a slower than average pace and as the race went on, he was going to speed up.
Nerves shot through me, but were quickly stomped on when the beginning alarm sounded. I promptly got behind 2 people running at my pace. The course had more hills that I was imagining, but I was able to fight through them without much problem. As I was running toward the first water-station (@ mile 2), I was able to see my brother (who was volunteering at the water-station on the other side of the road, mile 4) and he started clapping and yelling for me. It's one thing to have strangers yelling and clapping for a group of people around you, but it's a completely different thing when someone you know is doing this while saying your name. It gave me a little burst of energy and I was able to pass my pacers (@ mile 2.5). After going down and making the turn, I could see my brother's water-station coming up. I purposely bypassed the others holding out watered-down gatorade and went for my brother's cup. It was just something special about that moment that I will probably always cherish. I continued on the course as one of the pacers ran along side of me. We ran together for the remainder 2 miles of the race. I've never ran with a pacer before, but I think it helped me out dramatically. 1/4 mile from the finish line we had to run up a side road (hill) and a man was pushing to pass us. I kept thinking to myself that I fought too hard to have this guy pass me in the last 1/4 mile, so I pushed as well and I was able to hold him off. As I made the last turn toward the finish line, my eyes cut directly to my wife and son, cheering me on. I did it! I ran a 10k!! I wouldn't have imagined a year ago that I would be able to run a 10k, and not stop, but I did it! As I crossed the finish line, there were people placing the medals around our necks. So cool! The medals are by far the coolest medals I have ever seen.
Tim had the best time out of our group from Columbus with 55:04 (8:53 min/mile pace). I finished with a 56:42 (9:09 min/mile pace). I was also surprised to see that I came in 2nd for my Age Group and #25 male overall, SWEET!! I got a gift certificate to Stinky Feet (athletic store) for my 2nd Place finish. Richard finished with 1:14:07 (11:58 min/mile pace). So proud of him, he started running in January and he's already completed a 5k (Lake Lowndes) and now a 10k!! Way to go buddy!! Mindie finished her Half-Marathon in 2:05:31. So proud of her as well!!
Loved the race! Loved being able to run the race with other people I knew! Loved having my brother volunteer!!