2007-08-26 - Annapolis 10 Miler 2007

10 miles @ 12.8 min/mi

"Bloody sock!" Say that to a Boston Red Sox fan, and you'll hear the story of Curt Schilling's triumphant pitching, after tendon repair surgery, against archrival New York Yankees during the 2004 American League playoff series. Schilling's bloody sock now resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame. At the end of the 2007 Annapolis Ten Miler my running comrade Christina shows me her bloody sock — stained late in the race by an injured toe. That same evening Christina's sock is washed and returned to its place of honor in her sock drawer. Sic transit gloria socci(?!) ...

Just as last year (cf. BabyGetsNewShoes) Chris and I meet predawn and carpool to the Naval Academy football stadium, starting point for today's race. At 6am when we arrive the temperature is 73°F with a dewpoint of 71°F — close to 100% humidity. But at least it's cooler than yesterday! We ramble about the pre-race expo, where almost everybody seems to know Chris. Lining up before the start Gretchen greets us; she and I served together at water stop #6 during last year's Parks Half Marathon. (cf. VikingRailroad) I take photos as we await the signal to begin.

The race itself is relatively uneventful. This year's course winds through the well-groomed grounds of the Naval Academy before crossing the Severn River Bridge into a hilly residential area where neighbors kindly spray runners with garden hoses. The orange slices are all gone by the time Christina and I reach those aid stations, but there's still beer in the seventh mile from some hash harriers. The road is slippery-wet in many places due to condensation from the misty air. We repeatedly pass and are passed by the same friendly folks. Presaging the bloody-sock theme I'm wearing a Red Sox running shirt, and numerous fans of the team cheer me for that reason. One volunteer, however, taunts me with a "Go Yankees!" shout. "You're stabbing me in the heart!" I reply.

The sun comes out after we recross the arching bridge and are on the final half mile. Our finishing chip-time is 2:08, within seconds of last year's result. We unwind, take photos, and partake of post-race goodies. In spite of pink blotches on shoe and sock, Christina isn't troubled by the cut on one of her toes, caused by a wayward adjacent toenail. The wound heals quickly.