Every year my family spends the Fourth of July at my parents' summer place in Syracuse, Indiana. It's somewhat of a tradition. They have a local road race sometime that week. It's typically on a Saturday, so sometimes we miss it as we are traveling.
This year they had it on the day of the Fourth, so we were in town for it. They have a 3.3 mile and an 8 mile race. 3.3 is just basically due to the logistics of the course. This is the cheapest, most stripped down race you can possibly run nowadays. $12 early entry and $15 on race day. No timing chips. Not even race numbers. They give you a card with your overall finish at the end and then it is up to you to fill out your name, sex and age so they can figure out all the places. Now that's Old School, baby!
Its a lot of fun. I've done both the 3.3 and the 8 over the years. The 3.3 course is the same as the triathlon run course that I did last August. The 8 mile follows the 3.3 and then goes out to a park, loops around and then back the same way you came. That 8M course is new for me as they changed it the last couple of years.
I haven't done a running race since the Charlotte Marathon. So I thought it would be pretty good test. Plus if nothing else it would be a great tempo run workout. I set my goal at 50 minutes (6:15's).
It was quite humid on race morning, but not too hot. My sister made up t-shirts for everyone to wear. Everyone in the family that was at the cabin (my parent's place) participated. Everyone else did the 3.3M run/walk. So we had 11 family members on the course. I was especially proud of my wife and kids. My wife really ran hard as the elliptical training has been paying off. Her legs have been sore for days now. My boys completed the 3.3 mile course all by themselves. Very impressive.
Everyone started together. The first mile was relatively flat and you always have a bunch of people going out too hard. Plus you have a lot of people just running 3.3 miles. My Garmin kept telling me I was going too fast. I tried to reel it in a bit, but came through the first mile in 5:55. Good show of leg speed, but not exactly on pace. 2nd mile was better, right at 6:12.
All of mile 3 goes along the north shore of Lake Syracuse. It has the only real hills on the course, and my time reflected that in a 6:26. At this point with the heat and how tired I felt already, I thought maybe I was going to blow up and start running 7's or 7:30's. I really didn't think about the hills and how maybe that had slowed me some. But past the mile 3 marker it gets pretty flat. So the next 3 miles I reeled off in 6:17, 6:18, and 6:20. So at mile 6, I was pretty much right on pace for 6:15's.
During mile 7 I lost some time (maybe focus?) and ran a 6:26. I recovered some in the last mile and put in a 6:14 to come home officially in 50:15. Garmin had 8.02 miles and had me at 50:09.5 for 8.00 miles. Pretty close to my goal. Not perfect splits, but at the end of the day I will take it.
I came in 7th overall and won my age group. I didn't feel too sore, but was quite tired the rest of the day. Not too bad though, as we left that night after the fireworks around 11pm for the 660 mile trek back home.