This was the 3rd race in the RFYL Grand Prix series and 2nd for me.
I parked at the Dowd Y so that I could make my break after the race (mother in law in town). I ran the mile over to packet pickup on Tyron (bib and chip), and then went outside to meet Billy for our warm up. No Billy, no worries. I ran the course easy and felt ok. Actually, I was really tired from the day and the week. And that was fine.
Although it was a night race and I always run at 5:30am, there was electricity in the air and on the streets of uptown Charlotte last Friday night!
It was a different cast of characters from Skyline...and no short on talent. Maybe a top 10? Steve Shonts (50) said something to me about what Masters were there (uh, my mindset is overall). I spotted Kinley, Paul, Aaron and Brian on the sidelines, and scores more getting ready to get after it. I felt confident and fit (albeit tired). When I saw Paul, he was giddy (and it was because there was a Budic sighting) and he had his flats on! Purser and Shue, Rogers and Bor...
After the baby joggers went off, I went over to Tim Rhodes (sponsor) and thanked him as I always try to do. 2 signs of the cross and the gun went off!
The first mile was flat and straight and into a head wind and I failed to latch on to the pack in front of me. It simply was not my pace. All of the runners of similar ability were in that pack and I saw Budic just hangin' out! I was working hard and breathing heavy and with a good attitude. When Budic left the pack, I started to work my way up. One by one, I started going by each one of those pack members. Froelick, Purser, Shue, Arreola, etc. and going after Budic. This took me all the way to past the 2nd mile.
First mile was 5:31 and the 2nd mile was 5:29 as I hit the 2 mile mark at 11 minutes. That was ok, however, we still had that 3rd mile to contend with.
From the gun I could feel that my form just wasn't relaxed and it really became accentuated during the 3rd mile. Going up the hill during that 3rd mile, Lat went by me (which usually doesn't happen), and I went with him a little bit and not really (he would finish 3 seconds in front of me).
As I made the left hand turn for the long straight for the finish, the crowd support was fantastic and yet I thought that they could not all be cheering for me. Sure enough, Alejandro was trying to catch me and on this night I would have none of that. He was extremely gracious afterwards.
Although the race started at 7pm, I made it HOME by 7:44pm! Quick shower and a nice dinner with the family. Well of course I kept checking my BlackBerry to see the results (I've resigned myself to the fact that no one is going to call me...Ha!). Top 10?...I was hoping...10th overall @ 17:23!
Top 10 (men): 1- Kinley (sock God), 2- Bender (Kinley would have none of that), 3- Bailey, 4- Mainwaring (training partner), 5- Askey, 6- Isaacs, 7- Harris, 8- Budic (workout guru), 9- Purser (got me), 10- Spada (hangin' on)
Top 5 (women): 1- Rogers, 2- Walther, 3- Mercer, 4- Bakaltcheva, 5- John
1,900 runners...good turnout.
See you at GH...