Monday, June 23, 2014

10th Midnight Sun Run

It’s been a good run. Ten starts at the Midnight Sun Run since 2004 (I did Mayor's Marathon in 2009) and not a bad race. Ten tries, each an age group win, I think five masters titles, and five top ten finishes. I’m just glad to still be running, running pain free. Everything else is just a bonus.

That said, I need a change and next year hopefully it will be something different.

This was probably my most relaxed race day leading up to the race. I didn’t do much of anything but read some and hunker down between waves of heavy rain showers.

Although it looked threatening at 9 PM the evening was cool and overcast. I figured to be good for a 36 min, and planned on holding low 5:50s for as long as I could. They moved the start back about 100 meters to account for course change, due to the flooding Chena River—and this time the Howitzer was not so obtrusive. I quickly settled into a decent pace and the first 3 miles were almost textbook. 5:51, 11:40, and 17:30.

The only hitch was a rookie move by yours truly at the 2 mile water station. I was feeling dry mouthed at the start and really wanted water. I had just passed four or five runners and dropped the first attempt at grabbing a cup, and had to cut across the road to get another. Got a little tangled up with another runner, I apologized for being such a bonehead, but he seemed good with it.

I was in 9th, running with Dylan, on University. That's always a surreal stretch--busiest street in town, mostly deserted. Two guys up about 20 sec had been dropped by the chase pack, so we nodded and set out to reel them in. 

There is something hinky about that 4th mile, and it’s always long, and this time the split was way off because they put the marker at the wrong spot. Dylan surged strongly right at 4 and I couldn’t match that, opting for the steady approach. By holding back there went any chance at breaking 36.

I always feel the worst in the Riverview neighborhood, which is about 2 miles of the course. Distracted by all the block parties (somewhat subdued this year), and feeling miserable (that happens every year).

A young woman offered me a beer at 4.2 miles (Bud Light) and insisted that I looked like I needed one, but of course I declined. Maybe an Amber next time!?

5 mile split was 29:28, which seemed legit (although I'd really like to wheel that).

I passed a tall guy in white top and basketball shorts and then worked on catching my son’s friend Joe, a high schooler. We ran together for about a half mile and I felt well enough to pick it up for the stretch. I always work on practicing surges for the last part, and managed one for about a minute, but that was about it. Cruised it in to hit 35:17 at 6 and 36:35. The last 0.21 seemed a tad long, but who’s counting.

7th overall and a surprising if not shocking 1st runner over 30. Everyone ahead was in the 20-29!

Hey this was a fun one, I didn’t get as worked up. Nevertheless, I’m hoping to find other June venues for the next year, or three…but we’ll see.  


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