Sunday, March 16, 2014

60th Wearin' the Green 7K

     Today was the official kick off to my 2014 race schedule and despite the cold and windy conditions I had a blast.  The race was put on by the Toledo Roadrunners running club and held at beautiful Maumee Bay State Park along the shore of Lake Erie.  Mandy and I live a short 30 minute drive to the park so we headed out around 8am for the 9:30am posted start time.
  When we arrived the wind was coming right off the lake so that 20 degree reading on the mercury felt more like 5.  We headed into the main lodge to get my bib and shirt.  While at the lodge I found out that the kids 1 mile race starts at 9:30 and the main race started at 10, so I was a little disappointed only because I could have slept in for an extra half hour :)

      The race was giving out a custom race medal for the first 60 runners to cross the finish line and custom glass mugs for the top 5 finishers in each age group.  I am a bit of a glutton when it comes to race bling so my goal was to try and earn a race medal.

  The course was laid out very nice, leaving the lodge parking lot and making our way towards the winding roads of the park campground.  We were about a mile in when I heard rustling in the trees to my left.  Just as I looked over a deer jumped out onto the course about 5 feet behind me right in front of the lady that was about 10 feet behind me.  It happened so fast and being so bundled up I was unable to get a picture of it.  The other deer got spooked and stayed in the tree line running against the flow of the runners.  I am not sure if it ended up also crossing in front of any runners but no one was hit or injured.  For miles .5 through 3 we were, for the most part, completely surrounded by trees so the wind was a non factor, but after that wow was it cold and windy.  The last mile or so we left the protection of the campground tree lines and ran the path parallel to the beach.  The wind was blowing so hard that it felt like I was just running in place.  Once I got off the beach I had the wind at my back for a nice strong finish.
When I crossed the finish line, I was so elated to accomplish my goal of finishing in the top 60 runners.
     Mandy met me at the finish to snap a few pictures and then we headed to the lodge to warm up and check my official time.  They had bananas, chocolate chip and shamrock shaped frosted sugar cookies.  I fought the urge to eat the shamrock cookie, it looked soooo good but I gave it to Mandy to enjoy.  They had to delay the awards by almost a half hour due to a computer crash with the results.
Here is close up pictures of the medal and shirt!
 The official times weren't posted till later in the day on the Roadrunner's website, my official finishing time: 36:58 / Pace: 8:32 avg mile
I finished 7th in my age group and 52nd out of 148 overall.
     Despite the weather I had a great time and to celebrate my finish, when I got home I went out for another 4.5mile run so I could get my 9 miles in for the day!