Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hometown Glory

Yours truly running a race in Philly is somewhat of a "media event"........yours truly running a road race........a double whammy but you know me  I like "as much bang for my buck" feel free to insert a "Sign Of David" reference I dare ya............
My last non mile road race was the Rothman 8K 5 years ago like then my choice to run a road race was the time honoured "take one for the team" deals.
The Rothman 8k is the final race of the 9 month Road Race Grand Prix series and it's often hanging in the balance if the club{Greater Philadelphia Track Club} can win the series or at least place,this year we went into the final race in pole position but prior to that on the way home from Saratoga for Masters Nationals 5K XC C'ships last month one of my travel companions and Road Race team captain Tom Jennings asked if I'd consider running.......prior to that I hadn't planned to but it's always nice to be asked period and plus an 8k road race would "beat me up" less the the planned 15K XC at Van Cortlandt Park tomorrow so I duly signed up and "took one for the team"

Gotta say when you answer the alarm at 4.55/5.09am during the week the prospect of getting up at 6.15am on a Saturday to race is a bit of boot in the nads,perhaps 10 years of running track has made me soft we tend not to to have to be up that early.....but how often will I wake up at 6.15am have a pre race cup of Earl Grey and a banana leave at 6.52am and do my pre race warm up by jogging the 2.5 miles over to the start for a 7.30am start?........probably a year if I sign up for the 2016 Rothman 8K........!!!!
A little brisk at that early hour,37 degrees according to "old faithful"{Peco Tower} didn't feel the need to bust out the gloves but did dig out my Ireland hat,Ireland half zip jacket,knee length running tights and long sleeve Spurs warm up short below my white Greater Philly Track Club singlet,arrived at the start at 7.17am enough time to swop hat for bandana and throw my half zip and Spurs three quarter length bottoms into the baggage area and mosey over to the starting line for the 7.30am gun.

Bit of a "fustercluck" at the start but w/ almost 2,000 runners that was to be expected,still had room to "take a knee" and offer up my pre race prayer b4 a stirring rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" and the gun.
Given I didn't want to go off "half cocked" I wasn't too overly concerned that I had to weave in and out of clearly slower runners in the opening 400/600m by the time I rounded Logan Square my path was clear.
I missed my mile split.....too busy sharing a "high five" w/ outgoing  Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter who has been an avid supporter of running here in the "city of brotherly love and sisterly affection" I hope incoming mayor Jim Kenny is as avid a supporter of the citys runners......
12.05 at mile 2 a little over 6 min mile pace but I felt comfortable one thing I had noticed in the opening two miles was I wasn't picking off runners ahead of me w/out being overtaken......could I continue this to the finish?

Missed the turnaround time a mixture of thanking Channel 6 Weather Woman and fellow runner Cicely Tynan for a glorious morning to run......yeah I know she had bugger all to do the the actual weather but hey she predicted good conditions and we got them.
I also had one eye on one of my teammates Chuck Shields ahead of me,b4 making the turn I counted four fellow GPTCers ahead of me,the first three were long gone but Chuck was in my sights and by mile 4 I not only reeled him in but went by him as I clocked 24.10.
Less than a mile to go,could I go sub 30.00??? granted this was going to be the slowest of my 9 8ks all time.........but feck off I hadn't ran any of them at 52!!!!!
Continuing to pick off runners ahead of me I closed in on the finishline along the Ben Franklin Parkway,shit track,road,xc you always wanna finish strong period I still live by that old Carl Lewis quote "I just wanted to know I left it all out there on the track" but seeing the Irish Tricolour on the otherside of the sidewalk gave me that extra ompff to cross the line in 29.48.

Officially 92nd in a field of 1,907, third in the 50-54 age group which I believe earns me an age group award but frankly post race all I wanted to do was grab my gear from the UPS truck{shameless plug since Candice works for them!!!} and jog the 2.5 miles home to give me a 10 mile day.........frankly breakfast w/ Candice post race was the best award this "Shamrock Warrior"  could ask for.....that said I look forward to receiving said award in the post...or via UPS!!!!!

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