Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kickoff Run For Sight 5K Race Report


Getting ready to head into this weekend's events, I haven't had a chance to blog a little about the Kickoff Run For Sight 5K that I ran in Mobile, Alabama last Saturday.

I made the trip over to the Mobile area to see a very good friend of mine, Rebecca Massie, get married to a good, down-to-earth guy in Keith Bell.

I guess you could say they've been together for a little while (I don't get into a lot of that ... i.e. keeping up with how long, etc. ... even with friends), but the one thing that has always impressed me about Rebecca is that she doesn't do friendships half-way.

If you're her friend, she goes all in.  A very risky, yet admirable trait.  So when I was invited to attend her wedding, I was fortunate enough to be able to make the trip.

And shortly after making the travel arrangements, of course, there was a race to be found!

I've run in Mobile before; therefore, it wasn't a new north American city - as I have over 100 outside of Texas to my credit, but it was on the campus of the University of South Alabama.

One of my better half marathons was the First Light Half Marathon a few years ago and then, two Januarys ago, Bill Dwyer and I traveled to Jackson, Mississippi so I could run the Mississippi Blues Marathon before venturing south to Mobile to watch Adrienne Langelier, Rebecca and a couple of her friends break the First Light Marathon women's relay record.

Actually, I think they shattered it.  Nonetheless, I historically digress.

The race benefited the sight programs of the University Lions Club and the one thing that was excellent - a rarity in the south - was that they had a "no shirt" registration option.  (You see this a lot in the Pacific Northwest, but rarely in Texas where I live.)

Start time was 7:30 a.m. and it was only about five minutes off of getting the race started on-time.  Not a major inconvenience, even though rains from the Gulf were threatening.  With the humidity, it wouldn't have been a bad thing.

The course (here) was a little out and back with a 1.5-mile elongated loop in the middle of it -- think of a lollipop, I guess.  Course map -

In that loop was the mile 15 marker of the First Light Marathon where there was a relay exchange.  If memory serves me correct, it is where Sam Gardner handed off to Rebecca.  (If I'm wrong, I'll be corrected!)

Coming off a good weekend the week before in West Virginia and Ohio, my fear was that the humidity would be a kick in the rear end again.

It was, but it really didn't seem to come in to play until the last mile.

A good bit of the first mile was slightly downhill as we ran toward the University of South Alabama Circle.  The left-hand turn onto Aubrey Green Drive brought the mile 1 marker at the top of a slight incline and I posted a 9:32.18 first mile.

Felt pretty good and even though I knew I was slowing down some - while just trying to run steady - I took a quick breather once or twice after making a right on to Health Services Road and then on to USA North Drive.

The mile 2 marker revealed a 9:56.85 time for a cumulative mark of 19:29.03.  Not too bad.  9:45 per mile.

But it was mile three, going slightly back up hill, especially even the last stretch that ran by the USA intramural soccer fields, that brought out a 10:39.01 butt-kicking on me.

Now, what's crazy is that all of my post didn't get "cut and pasted" in here.  And I didn't notice it until Adrienne made a comment Sunday morning on what was already here.

And I didn't save what I had entered into either Word Pad or when I cut and paste it to Note Pad before getting it in here.  Ugh!

Well, the bottom line is that I had a gun time that was a second off of the official timer, Little Red Hen Productions, but I had a 7-second offset for my "chip time" that put my overall time at 30:57.

The last tenth of a mile, of which the marker was set just past the last right hand turn to set up a straight shot to the finish, came in like 49 seconds.  I figured it to be "on" - or measured correctly - on the way out because I mentally remember it being 56 seconds (which is just under a 10-minute pace).

My summary was that this is a nice event.  The course isn't completely closed, but at 7:30 a.m. in the morning early in the semester there wasn't much traffic.  The University of South Alabama and the City of Mobile police monitored the course extremely well.

I think the official results had just 87 official timed finishers - and I think that I might have been 47th.  Ugh.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself.

Well, except for the one gentleman just outside of the finish chute.  Again, the official timer was really doing manual timing and using the tear tag at the bottom of the bib to keep people in order.

There were three workers and the first gentleman - as there was also a female and a second man beyond him - was rude and not any help at all.  He was hollering for me to tear my tag off after I came running hard to the finish line.  My thought was, "Buddy, why don't you do something and tear it off for me."

It left me a little perturbed.  But since I really was looking to get back to the hotel so I could get showered and begin the drive back to New Orleans, I quickly got my keys, which were under the timer's tent, went to a Pavillion area, grabbed a banana and a bottle of water and went to my car.

Since there was a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico, I wanted to get to the Louis Armstrong Airport to get on an earlier flight to make it home with plenty of time before I needed to go back out and get my parents, who were flying in from Pittsburgh after visiting my grandparents.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

Such a true statement about Mrs. B. Good to see you, even if for just a bit.