The morning started out colder than a witch's tit in a brass bra. Although Kansas can get a lot colder, my body hasn't acclimated to Winter weather yet, and there was a stiff wind from the North that caused the wind chill to be about 17 degrees. I made it to the start area about an hour early. At this point, I was debating how hard I was wanting to run this race since I was already guaranteed a PR, and I wasn't feeling in top form. Having decided this race wasn't that important to me, I went ahead and partook in a free doughnut and hot chocolate, and mingled around trying to kill some time.
Skipping ahead, about a half mile into the race, we turned into that North wind running along the Arkansas River. Right before mile 2, a gust of wind came up and blew off my cap. I made a quick decision, did a 180 and ran back after my hat. Luckily another runner saw me chasing after it and picked it up while it was still being blown the opposite way. My snafu probably cost me a good 10 seconds. But as I was retrieving my hat, Mr. Murphy's Law (look it up if you haven't heard of him) must have run past me cause no more than a minute later, the runner right in front of me lost his cap too. Now I had another decision to make. Do I pay it forward and retrieve that guy's cap that's blowing right towards me thereby slowing me down again, or do I say screw him, I've got to make up some time. Well, let's just say there's probably some homeless guy down by the river who has a warm head now. The rest of the race was unmemorable other than I did more passing than getting passed, and I finished in a disappointing official time of 28:46. I was shooting for sub 28 minutes.
I planned on hanging around long enough to eat more food, and catch the results. I was in a little bit of shock when the results were posted. My name was on the first page of results. Turns out I did well enough to finish 37th out of 687 runners, and bring home a 3rd place age group award. I've never placed that high before in anything over a 5k. I've done some race timing for the race director, so when he called my name for the 3rd place award, he had to mention to the crowd that I didn't even have to fix the results. I'm sure no one else there knew what he was talking about, but he thought he was being funny, so it was more of an inside joke I guess.
|Age Group Award with Shirt Logo Backdrop|
|My New Hamstring Fashion Accessory|
My left hamstring was a little tight before the race, and afterwards it was worse, so now I've got a compression sleeve to wear on my leg for the next few days. Hopefully with a little TLC it can feel normal again within a week.
A footnote on that guy's cap I failed to get: Now that I have you thinking I'm an A**Hole, or as self-centered as Paris Hilton. He was close enough to me when he lost it that I didn't have time to react and grab it, but I did try and stop it with my foot. He didn't attempt to turn around or come back for it, so I kinda just kept going, but not without feeling bad for the next mile that I didn't have better reflexes.