Friday, March 24, 2017

Run for Pie? Sure Enough. Pie Day Pi-K

Sunday, March 12th, would it or would it not snow? I had signed up for the Durham Pie Day Pi-K race awhile ago, when it was still unseasonably warm. Then, the forecasts began – maybe three inches, maybe less. I knew that if it was three inches there was no way I would be driving to Durham. Yes, I am a wimp. Not so when I first arrived in this area, however I learned this is not like the North where snow means nice packed snow one can drive on.

The night before the race, the forecast had dropped down to a dusting on grass but not much more. The secondary roads here had already been sprayed with brine, so I was not too worried. The race start time had been changed from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. due to the earlier forecasts of snow. I liked the later time. While I was on 147-N, it began snowing. Discernible snow. A little more than a dusting. Oy. But it was supposed to be a fast moving weather event and then it would warm up.

The race start area was on Parrish St, right by Scratch Baking, which was supplying the Finish line “pies”, and across from City Hall.


It was cold. And, of course, damp with the flurries continuing. Pi-K is a 3.14K or 1.95 mile race. 271 folks had signed up for this but not all showed up. The cold weather and snow threat probably a deterrent.  Many were bundled up which was a good thing because it got chilly while waiting.

Some had brought their dogs who would await with spectators at the Finish line Brrr! The beneficiary of the event was Habitat for Humanity. A rep took the microphone at about 9 a.m. And spoke about Habitat. I could not hear her, even when lifting my headband off my ears. Feeling chilled, I could only think: let's get this thing going!

The race started about 9:03 running out of the parking area onto Mangum then off onto streets I did not know. Not knowing Durham, this would be an adventure. It was not a huge crowd but I could still see those in front of me despite my slow pace. We started in a business section but eventually passed into residential streets. The homes varied from modest to those that reminded me of ones I found in lots of small towns: large homes set above the street on a snow covered rise.

I was not running fast so had time to enjoy this outing. Better yet, it was short enough to end before I ran out of energy. At the close, we ran back into the small shopping section from the other end, to cross the Finish line. In retrospect, looking at my Garmin data, the race route resembled a thick drunk arrow – from tip out and back.

What awaited the finishers were the most incredible Scratch Bakery pies, offered in chocolate and apple.

I chose the apple. Almost indescribable: slices of apple and thick crimped crust. This was a meal in itself. I would have run a few more miles for another one. (well, maybe run but for sure walk jog!) Probably the best little pie I have ever had. Really – the crust was perfect. Not anything like one finds in a supermarket (thin, wimpy, and slimed with shiny coating). No, this was robust, thick, and baked to perfection. The apple slice filling was just right: not too sweet and not too tart.

215 people actually ran and finished the race and got pies! 137 females and 78 males. According to Precision Race's It's Your Race, 12:15 was the average pace and 23:55 was the average finish time. The first male was 15 and finished in 11:23, with a 5:50 pace. Youth!  The first female was 21  and finished in 14:33, with a pace of 7:27.  The last batch of finishers came in at 41 minutes.

If I did not already have too many t-shirts, this would be one to have. Front for the math lovers and back for the pie lovers!

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