Race Report: Rescue Run 10k
Happy 2008! I got up at 6:30 so I could drive down to Colorado Springs and run a 10k race with several hundred other crazy people to kick off the new year. Normally, I wouldn’t bother to go through all the trouble for that kind of race, but this is one that I had wanted to do last year and couldn’t due to injury. I wanted to check it off the list, plus the money goes to support the El Paso County Search and Rescue organization.
The day turned out great. It was sunny and clear, with a little breeze. 16 degrees at the start – I decided to skip the tights and just go with shorts. I also broke out the running shirt I had designed as an offshoot to my cycling team gear. I planned on running hard as a good way to get an extended speed session under my belt. I had just done 30 miles on Friday, then took Saturday and Sunday off, and put in a medium tempo 10 miles with hills yesterday. I definitely wasn’t going into this race rested, but that was ok. I needed to push the speed with a little fatigue in the legs.
I knew the course started out uphill, but wow was I shocked at the climb in the first mile! It was pretty stout, and pitched up to 9% for the final 1/4 mile to the top. Coming back down, I hit 15mph on this section. Fun!
I was hoping to maintain something under a 7:30 pace. I thought that would be a fair challenge given the state I was in and the difficulty of the course. I had done a solo time trial on a 10k course near my house back on November 3 and came up with a 47:25. I really wanted to break 45 minutes, but would need a 7:14 pace to do that. Seemed like a stretch.
The start was pretty crowded, over 700 people were lined up to do the 5k or 10k which started at the same time. After a flat 1/4 mile start on a smaller path, we were dumped onto a road at the base of the climb so it was pretty easy to find room to pass.
I abandoned my conservative strategy and started passing dozens of people immediately. I ended up giving 3-4 spots back by the end, but I think it was the right thing to do. My legs never complained at all, I felt like they had plenty to give. My lungs were another story. They just seemed to be limiting me for some reason (several in the family have colds, and I’ve had some symptoms).
I ended up 26th out of 310 overall male (was passed by one girl), and 7/44 in my age group. My time was 43:14, which works out to a 6:58 pace. I was thrilled! For me to run sub-7 on a course like that, contending with the hills and snow, and having all those miles in my legs was fantastic. I was really, really pleased. I bogged down a bit during miles 3 and 4, paying for the faster start, but then rallied and finished strongly (the downhill helped, too!).
After I got home, we took off to go sledding. Littleton has a dedicated sledding park with a big hill that is very wide and can accommodate a LOT of people. There were tons of people there since it was nice weather + a holiday. Talk about the Darwin Awards on steroids. This place was nuts! There weren’t really any defined paths to take back up the hill, so people were randomly walking everywhere. We saw so many collisions and near misses. I can’t believe they didn’t have a fleet of ambulances waiting at the bottom with doors open. The first place we set our sleds down had a nice patch of fresh blood decorating the snow…
One guy was at the bottom of the hill with his back turned to the slope (duh). I yelled ‘heads up!’ as loud as I could as a girl on a huge tube was gunning right for him. He turned and saw her a millisecond before impact, jumped as high as he could, and she clipped his feet and sent him flipping over backwards onto the hard-as-ice snow. Ouch. We saw another guy jump out of the way of an oncoming sled only to realize that his little girl was right behind him. She was a centimeter from being knocked into orbit. She ended up getting sideswiped which spun her around in a 720 and flung her mitten several feet away. We saw another little kid his legs taken out which slammed his face into the ice, blood and tears were everywhere.
We survived for about 90 minutes, then considered ourselves lucky to still be in one piece and headed out. The kids had a blast, even if the parents were a little worried at times.