Saturday, June 6, 2009

Run for the Haw! 5K

Graham is where my softball team is based. It is a neat little town. Cooke field has three well tended softball fields as well as tennis courts and picnic areas and a walking path. Graham theatre is renown for miles for its entertaining movie announcements. Today, June 6, 2009, Graham held the first Run for the Haw! to benefit the development of the Haw River Trail.

Up at 5 a.m. so I could get the dog taken care of and get to Graham by 7:30. I made it by 7:20. The race started on Goley Street at 8 a.m. near the corner by the Graham Middle School softball field. It was overcast, but warm. The sun came out almost right away. After the slight incline along Pine street adjacent to the cemetery, and out to Main, the course is mostly flat. It traverses downtown Graham on Main St into a residential area, with a turnaround at Parker and then back on N Maple before cutting back through the residential area back to the school around the track to the Finish.

Due to the excessive rain yesterday, there were a few mats out covering the worst of the mud spots around the field and the finish line was denoted by a large SWIM FINISH banner.

I started slowly and jogged the entire way, huffing away. Nearing the school on the return, I came upon another runner who heard me huffing and told me to come on along. I said not to worry, I wouldn't be passing. We jogged to the street adjacent to the ball fields and track. Not realizing I still had the track to go around, I sped up and passed the runner and came onto the field only to be directed to the track.

Poof. The air went out of me and I dropped to a walk. The lady runner passed and encouraged me again, but I continued walking around the first curve before forcing a jog. There was that lady, who passed another in front of us, and three ahead, a lady in a red singlet. In the final stretch, the lady in red and the encouraging lady crossed the finish. I sped up and passed one lady, came into the finish area and slowed, figuring they were going to rip off the number tag (i.e. order of finish tally). But no, there was a guy clocking us in on a device who told me to keep going. So I lost a few seconds there. Nonetheless, this was a PR for me. I expect that is because Graham is a heck of a lot flatter than Raleigh. At least downtown. Still, I should have pushed harder at the end instead of flopping like that. Especially after having watched MARATHON CHALLENGE last night.

The 84 runners consisted of a mix of avid (pro) runners (Missy Foy, the Women's winner) and casual, such as myself. One man said he had not run a race in 15 years, the last being a marathon. He and his pal set off ahead of me and were well along with the main pack. However, I came upon him on Main street, beyond RT 49 (Harden St) intersection, and he had to drop to a walk. He may have resumed running later, but didn't pass me. I do know he was happy to be out there. Me too.

Missy Foy won the women's (38) in 19.45, and Graham Crawford the men's (46) in 17.41. The median time was 27.20. I was 15 of 38 women with a time of 28.37. (50/84 overall)

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