Monday, July 4, 2011

Four on the 4th-Recap

      Since I started running as a matter of routine I have never put my running shoes on and go out for a run that I didn't intend to run at least 4 miles as a minimum. Sure, I did a couple 1 milers on the treadmill, but that doesn't really count because I wasn't at the gym to run so much as I was there to do other things and then decided to squeeze a run in on top of it. Now, I have had no more than 2 or 3 occasions where I stopped short for one reason or another, but those were flukes and seldom repeated. The fact is 4 miles is my "comfort zone" distance and I was thrilled to participate in my first 4 mile street competition this morning.

     The inaugural Four on the 4th street race is a local run created to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia and they designed a 4 mile course that struck me as being a mutant hybrid child of the Drumstick Dash, the AEP Festival Run, and a sprinkle of the Blue Ridge Half Marathon all rolled into one and condensed into 4 miles. I thouroughly enjoyed the course for its familiarity and ease of navigating.

     I can't say much about competitiveness in this years running. I'm sure their was plenty, but after the starting shot was fired their was the standard 1/8th mile of everybody getting spread out and their just wasn't much passing took place after that. I started on the start line and immediately established myself in 8th place. I kept the race leader and 3 others who were trailing him in my sights for about a mile before they pulled off. That left me and 3 others, I passed one male and one female at around the 1 mile mark and held 6th for about a mile when the lead female passed me back and that was all the passing that I was part of. Indecently a bandit runner overtook me at mile 3, so for a while I thought I had slipped into 8th again, but he altered his route away from the finish line with about 1/10 mile to go so I knew I had 7th. It's a good feeling to run a race and know what position your in from start to finish. This was only the second time I've been able to do it with the first time being at the 2011 Explore Your Limits 5k trail race where I took 3rd overall back in March.
Me getting passed by the 1st place female. She hollared out something encouraging as she went by

Finish line sprint.
     So I felt good about my time considering that my training of late would have statistically only have supported a 28 minute 4-Miler. I finished with a 26:31.7 which is only a minute slower than my best 4 mile training run and that was on a treadmill about 6-8 weeks ago. I suspected an Age Group award, but was plesently surprised with the 1st place masters award. I turned 40 this year and was very much looking forward to a masters award but this region is saturated with some hard core 40+ runners who always seem to edge me out. Some didn't race today and those who did either got a top 3 overall or didn't have anything for me today so I got my first masters. I'm thrilled.
Masters Award was this nice cooler.

     Final Results:
Four on the 4th 4 Miler
2011-time 26:31.7 (chip), pace: 6:38, Place 7/244 overall,*1st Place Master* 1/7 in my age group, 6/113 among men

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