The official t-shirt of the Hurricane Half Marathon and 5K.
The 5K went off surprisingly well. We woke up at 0445 because we had been told we needed to be at the pickup point no later than 0530. We were going to be bused to the start, just out of town so be on time. Yeah. Turns out the first to go were the half marathoners who left about 0540. Our bus didn't pull out until 0640. Not an auspicious beginning. Still, it's not like I was getting a lot of sleep anyway.
Our race numbers, for whatever definition of race you care to apply. It sure felt like one to me.
I'm a visual guy as well as a bit paranoid. I need stuff like this be certain I'm really in the right spot. If it says so it must be true.
At the start line. It was cold. The wind was blowing and most everyone was wearing more clothing than the event would normally call for. In the first photo you can see the school buses that hauled us. It made me feel like I was 13 again. In that second photo, if you look past the woman in black you'll see Lu in her bright yellow jacket. I estimated about 250 runners in total.
Lu getting her runner game face on. She was my inspiration and my coach. She dragged me along, monitored my pace and just generally made the run a lot of fun. Have I mentioned how much I love this woman?
Let me see your war face. Aaargh! Let me see your real war face. AAARRRGGGHHH! I'm not scared, work on it. Hiding the pre-race butterflies behind a facade of studied indifference. I'm still such a little boy. I don't know which is harder, the anticipation or the actual run.
Without the DO and the grandkids we didn't have an official action photographer so Lu played pack mule and hauled hers along just so she could sprint ahead and take this shot. This was about a mile in. Do I look like I was having fun? Surprisingly I was.
Lu and I at the finish line after we finished together. Hand in hand. I'm a pretty sappy guy but finishing like that was dang cool.
The race numbers after the run with tags removed and the finish coin proving we were stupid enough to get up at odarkthirty and go for a run without a drill instructor screaming vile invective and threats for failure.
Now for the question I know is on everyones mind. What was the time? You'll recall my best time on the treadmill was 48 minutes and I was just hoping to break 50. Lu has done 38 in the Pacific Grove 5K. Our unofficial time (I was watching the clock as we crossed the line) was 36:17. The winner's time was 16 minutes and change. I hated him on sight.
Lu set a pretty fast pace (for me anyway) but the course was a slight downhill for probably 3 of the 5K. What wasn't downhill was pretty much pancake flat so take that time for what it's worth. Still, I was ecstatic and it was even a PR for Lu. Not bad for a meathead who hasn't run any significant non-treadmill distance since I got out of the Army in 1985.
We met some really great folks out on the course and just generally had a great time. If you're contemplating running one or even have a passing interest I highly recommend it, especially if you're with someone you love. It's a true bonding experience. Doing stuff like this together is marriage and relationship strengthening. In fact we had so much fun we're definitely going to do it again. There's a 4 mile trail run coming up in July and I think we're going to do it but we'll absolutely be doing more 5Ks.
Credit where credit's due time. Thanks Lu. I wouldn't have done it with anyone else and couldn't have without your love, guidance and support.
Now it's time for some food and a good nap.