2012-02-26 - RRCA 10 Mile Club Challenge

10 miles @ 7.8 min/mi

Up at 0430, breakfast of coffee and a Greek yogurt and a mini-Snickers candy bar. At ~0615 I jog and walk to the Forest Glen Metro station and arrive at 0625, just as Don Libes pulls in with Ken Swab. Soon thereafter Barry Smith and his daughter Natalie Sayth appear. We all ride in Don's van to Columbia MD. Race bib pickup in the Howard County Community College gymnasium is fast and efficient. Christina Caravoulias takes photos; Ken sneaks up on Chris and her friend to hold up devil-fingers behind their heads and jinx one picture. I suck down an energy gel. The ladies' restroom in the gym floods and we tiptoe out through half-inch-deep water in the lobby.

Then the chilly march down the road to the starting line. Far back in the crowd Debbie Shulman and I chat. As runners begin to move slowly forward we ask each other, "Did they say 'Go'?!?". I hit the button on my GPS as we cross the line, about 10 seconds after the official start. Then, as in the same race two years ago, the urge is irresistible: gotta take advantage of the downhills and push the pace. Approaching mile marker #1 I catch up with Natalie and chat with her. She runs near me for a bit, then slows. Layered and hooded against the elements, Betty Smith is outbound as I'm returning from the first neighborhood loop: we salute each other. At mile ~8 I catch up with Tom Young and tell him I'm ready to drop. His encouraging banter keeps me charging up the hills. Sarah Buckheit, another friendly rival, greets me as I come up behind her in the last mile. At the finish line the official clock ticks just past 1:18:00 before I can dash across the timing mats. Volunteers distribute RRCA runner gloves. I stuff them into my shorts for warmth. With banana and coffee in hand, and cookies and sample yogurt tube in windbreaker pocket, I head back up-course to cheer other runners into their finish.


The course: downhill for the first half and uphill coming back. GPS trackfile splits: 7:27 ⇒ 7:46 ⇒ 7:42 ⇒ 7:37 ⇒ 7:46 ⇒ 8:00 ⇒ 7:33 ⇒ 7:56 ⇒ 7:56 ⇒ 7:39 — but these should have ~3 seconds added to each to correct for GPS distance measurement error.

Official time is 1:18:00.94 and personal GPS "chip time" is 1:17:51, a monster PB improvement from 1:19:06 in the 2010-02-28 - RRCA 10 Miler on this same course and 1:18:41 at the 2012-01-07 - DCRRC Al Lewis 10 Miler Race seven weeks ago.

^z - 2012-03-04