Tarheel 10 Miler 2016- Race Recap

Now a few weeks past, I have just a few minutes to try to recapture some thoughts and moments from my second running of a huge Triangle event.  The Tarheel 10 Miler and 4 Miler were run on the beautiful (and difficult) Chapel Hill streets on April 23rd, 2016.

An event that draws thousands of runners every year, we converged on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill bright and early that Saturday morning.  For me, it’s about a 50 minute drive, which means I left the house before 6am.  I think I was parking about 6:30, for a meet up with my son, and eventual meetup time with the pacers at 7:15.  Everything about the morning was smooth, except for the temperatures.  It was a bit warm.  Anytime you schedule a race later than mid May around here, it’s a complete crap shoot as to the weather.  It could be 50, it could be 70.  We were flirting with race day temperatures just a tad too warm.

We met at the iconic Belltower on campus for photos and quick meeting.  My first time pacing this event, but have paced two other races (both Bull City) for this team.  With a new race course, which promised more of a flatter run, and the dreaded 1 mile uphill climb near the finish, I didn’t notice much about the new course that made it easier.  In fact, I ran it faster two years ago.  Laurel Hill is the finishing challenge, and after fighting the warmth of the day, and mile markers which were all over the place, I had very little gas left in the tank for that mile long uphill climb.

image

There were three of us pacing the 8:00 per mile group, including my son and another guy who I hadn’t met previously.  Right from the start it was painfully clear that our Garmins and the mile markers would make this a difficult race to pace.  Side note: please, mile markers need to be carefully mapped and placed on courses in the correct spots!  We were off by almost a quarter of a mile as we reached Mile 1!  No excuses for that.  It left us wondering, and confused.  We had no choice but to follow our Garmin pace, because after asking several runners during the race, everyone’s timing devices were all over the place.  Needless to say it made for a challenging race.  We made ok time, but often us pacers were not even together, what to rely on?  Course markers?  Garmins?  We did our best.  That dreaded hill at the finish nailed all of our coffins, and each of us were just slightly over 8 minute pace.  It really couldn’t be helped.  Funny, too, that I ran the race 4 minutes or so faster a few years back.

It was still really enjoyable though, and I always love pacing, and the interaction with runners.  We had a good race.  The only other negative I had for the new finish area was that once you  left the finisher chute, there was no access that I saw to additional water.  If I had known that, I would have brought a drop bag with a few bottles of water in it.

According to the website, there were 4,010 finishers in the 10 Miler.  That’s a big race! My finish put me in the top 16%.  Not sure if I could have done better on the day if I hadn’t been pacing because the weather may have impacted my speed.  It was just too warm and sunny.  The Tarheel 10 & 4 Miler is a very successful and huge event in Chapel Hill, and you should try it one day!  UNC is a beautiful campus!  They have pretty nice swag, too for finishing!

image

Let’s Race!

Image

Left work a little early today so that I could get over to Chapel Hill for packet pick up.  I say packet, but it was really just my bib and the shirt, which you see in the picture.  Round trip, to pick up these items was about 80 miles.  Very inconvenient, considering I have to drive right back tomorrow morning for the race.  I planned out where I will park, and have my directions all down pat.  I am ready for the Tarheel Ten Miler.  A well respected, well organized, and well attended event in the Triangle area.

The weather has been tumultuous to say the least today.  Cool this morning, and darn right hot and humid when I left.  82 degrees, with storms looming about.  I hit several areas of rain on the way home, as we are under a tornado watch until 9pm.  What does that mean for race morning?  A cooler, drier ass mass at least in the early hours.  The day will warm up to near 80 tomorrow, so it may be a bit of a challenge in the later miles.  I’ll do my best to tough it out, and wrap up my race before it gets too uncomfortable.

I am off for the weekend, which is really nice.  I will get my gear and bag ready tonight, as I need to leave the house in the morning by 5:15am at the latest.  I plan on enjoying the after party festivities, and then relaxing the rest of the weekend.  Well, I have some chores, too.  Boo.  I am excited for the race, and will roll out my hamstrings tonight, trying to get them in prime condition.

Anyone else have a race this weekend?  I planned on running the Blue Ridge Marathon this weekend, but my hamstrings just won’t be able to handle the mountain race.  I figure this ten mile race will be a good tune up for next weekends All American Marathon.  Best of luck to everyone racing!

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Raleigh

Tomorrow will be my first time running this 5k.  I have been more geared toward endurance running, so this will be interesting.  I haven’t competed in a 5k in over a year, so I am just going to do the best I can.  I am racing as part of Team RunRaleigh Racing, and I am lucky enough to be racing tomorrow with my 17 year old son Dylan.  I am sure he will step out in front of me at the line, and I will be chasing him down the whole race.  Actually, I am just hoping that I can keep him in my sights, as he will be my inspiration to move my feet faster.  As Tropical Storm Andrea approaches from the south, this may be the first race I may have to run in the rain.  I have been lucky so far.  I have been getting a lot of great advice, as I have been a bit concerned about my speed.  My goal for tomorrow?  Enjoy another race with my son, and be inspired by all the women and men wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness.  Hopefully I will inspire, as well.

Do you run to inspire?  Do you run to be inspired?

Image