Shopper lingo for: Buy One Get One (free). This is one of my wife’s favorites. Her favorite, though is BTF – better than free. She actually gets deals like that sometimes. I went with her to Rite Aid one day and she bought 10 or 12 items. On the way out she informed me that she just made $5 on the transaction….. pretty amazing…..
But this blog is about running. The Santa Clarita Runners Club has had an Independence Day race for many years. They have a 5k AND a 10K. The 10K starts at 7 am and the 5k starts at 8 am. So, if you can run a 10k in under an hour you can run both. The offer a reduced price if you register for both. Not quite a BOGO, but my wife has got me always looking for a deal. Of course, the other reason, and probably the REAL reason for signing up for both races was the chance to score 2 points in the High Desert Runners Grand Prix Points Series. Running these races would only count as “extra” races. I could only score one point each unless I placed higher than I had in previous “extra” 5K or 10K races. On January 1 I placed 2nd male overall in a 10k, so there almost no chance I can improve that score. I have won my division in several 5ks so, again, there is little chance on improving on the score. Still, 2 points would get 2 points closer to Erik and Krysti, whom are away on vacation, and NOT racing (so they say.)
So, I got to Santa Clarita (Jesse went down with me.) and got ready to race. I spotted HDR members Janet and Charles Dempsey ready to run as well! Now, these two races would total 9.3 miles and I had not run more than 8 miles since the LA Marathon back in March. Therefore, I decided not to do a warm up run. I opted to treat it more like a marathon and just ease into it. The first half of the 10k is a slight downhill on one of the river bike paths. My biggest goal was to just run the race at sub Boston marathon qualifying pace – 8 minutes per mile. Of course, I have a hard time holding back in races. I used my breathing to gauge effort. I kept myself in a 2 to 2 breath pattern for the first half of the 10K. The splits were 7:29, 7:29 and 7:38. After I turned around I allowed myself to go into a 2 to 1 breathing pattern (2 steps while breathing in, 1 step while breathing out.) My splits did not change much: 7:34, 7:42, 7:37, only know I was running slightly uphill. Now I was catching people. The competition was pretty thinned out, but I caught 13 runners in the 2nd half of the 10k. My time was 46:46. Only good for 7th place in a VERY tough 50-54 age division.
As soon I crossed the finish line I was met by one of my Hillview runners. 7th grader, Natalie was there with her family. She had a nice cool, full bottle of water for me. I guzzled it down and tried to recover. Last year, I signed up for both races, but when I finished the 10k I backed out of the 5. After about 12 minutes they were making the announcements getting ready to start the 5k. I eased into the middle of the pack and bumped into Alan. The race started and I found myself having to bob and weave around slower runners, even though I was feeling rather dead legged and slow myself. The first mile took 7:52. The second took 8:08. Around 1.8 miles into the race there is a turn around. I counted the runners ahead of me. As I made the u – turn I was in 152nd place. I wondered if I could still make it into the top 100. The leading runners were pretty spread out but there were LOTS just a little bit ahead of me. The race was on! I picked up the pace. Heading west on Lyons I counted 26 victims to my surge. We turned onto Orchard Village – I counted another 15. I remembered a t-shirt I once saw a runner wearing.
I turned onto the last street of the race – Dalby Drive – about .3 miles to go. There was a young lady running about 10 meters ahead. The next group was more than 50 meters ahead. Now, of course, everyone can see the finish. Everyone is running faster. I am hoping I can catch the young lady. I realize that the others are out of reach. I surged and at about 200 meters I caught her. She answered my surge and picked up the pace a bit. I thought to myself, all these squats ought to be good for something – find some more speed. I did. I surged a little more and pulled even with her with about 50 meters to go. I dug deeper still and felt myself getting ahead. I had a stride on her as we went across the finish line! To my surprise, just as we finished, a boy and a girl, both teenage sprinted across the line. The boy leaned ahead of me and the girl was placed between myself and the young lady. It would have made a nice photo finish. 4 of us running all out and crossing the line within one stride of each other! I was just stoked, though, to think that I had a kick! I had found a way to dig in and outsprint someone across a finish line – this is typically NOT my specialty!
Coming out of the chute Jim Pandya was waiting for me. He had run the 10K. A bit later Alan finished as did Bev Oneal. Bev broke the 30 minute barrier for the first time ever finishing around 29:30 (official results still not available.) She won 2nd in her age group and set a new PR. Alan, I believe, won the 70+ age division.
With no official results, I have not seen the times for Jim, Jesse, Janet and Charles in the 10K.