Race Report: 2012 Rox Trot 10K
The 4th annual Rox Trot 5K/10K was a great success. We were able to build on the experience of the previous 3 years and take the race to a new level. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a very small community event, but we improved in almost every aspect and created processes and relationships that will allow us to pick up where we left off next year and do even better.
I have been part of the race committee for the past few months, and have a newfound respect for the huge amount of work that it takes to pull off a race like this. Even on a small scale. Sponsors were secured, permits and reservations acquired, volunteers gathered, a website was created with online registration and results, the course was set, parking and facilities arranged, finish area staged – and that is only scratching the surface. My admiration for my fellow committee members is huge. All for the love of the sport and to raise a few bucks for the local elementary schools.
I was in charge of the course for the race, and found that to be a challenging undertaking, but with the great support I had it made the job a lot easier. I definitely could not have done it alone. We came up with a great system for marking the course using solid red arrows on a white background. These were laminated and stapled to stakes in the ground, and could be seen from a great distance. I was super happy with how they worked out. I was also in charge of the course marshals. This was by far the most daunting task. Stapling arrows to stakes is one thing, trying to coach people on how not to get run over when stopping (sometimes less than cooperative) traffic is a whole new bag of worry.
I have a love/hate relationship with this course. It is very challenging, scenic, and fun to run. The 20+ road crossings can cause a bit of stress, though. Managing those is a huge challenge, and absolutely essential to pulling off the race. Thankfully, we had a solid group of volunteers show up willing to help us out by standing in the rain and holding out stop signs to get the cars to stop for the runners. Every time I ran through a crossing, I was so proud of those folks doing such a good job for us.
I didn’t know if I would be able to race this year with the other responsibilities I had, but shortly before the start it looked good so I got ready. I had already run the course earlier that morning to check all of the markings from the night before. My legs felt really sluggish then, and were still a little bit sore from the 20 I had run on Wednesday night. I pinned on my race number and everything changed. When I jogged over to my car to drop off my jacket I felt like I was floating. I love that pre-race feeling!
The wether was nasty and getting worse. We would still end up with our largest showing, despite the cold and rainy conditions. As is typical, the 10k group numbered just a small fraction of the 5k runners. 13 of us took off as the storm intensified to its highest level of the day. Rain mixed with hail, and a little wind for good measure.
I led our small little group from start to finish and was satisfied with my effort. The race usually takes place in August and I’m typically running it only 6 days after the Leadville 100. It was a nice change to run it on fresher legs this time.
Big thanks to the race committee that worked so hard to pull off a great event, and to the volunteers. I don’t think we could have done it with even one fewer person showing up. Everyone’s contribution was significant and much appreciated!