A couple of weeks ago, our family ran in a little race called the Raleigh Court Road and Trail Challenge. It was the third race this spring that we ran as a family (all but 4 year old ~A~ who hasn’t yet discovered the wonder of running).
BTW, if you’re interested in hearing about the other 2 races, post a comment below. I’ll write about them if I get at least 1 request.
This is our second year running this race. We really liked it last year because it is mostly on the road, but has a fun little trail section that makes it interesting. It also has a 5k and 10k race distance, so you can have a little bit of fun, or a lot.
~D~ and ~K~ chose "a little fun" by running the 5k route…
..and Christine and I opted for the 10k route–twice the distance for the same price.
The 10k route is just a second loop of the 5k route, so you get to experience the trail section a second time.
Last year, I ran with Christine, but this year we both decided to run on our own to see what we could do. After the race started, I tried not to go out too fast–a mistake that I made last year–but with an early downhill section, that was really hard to do.
The course had a lot more hills than I remembered and was feeling more fatigue than last year. I also was pushing harder, and was feeling it.
By the end of the first loop, I was ready to quit and go home, but gritted my teeth and kept going. I decided to try to get my mind off of the running by telling each of the race marshals along the course to say "Hi" to the lady in turquoise behind me. (I figured that Christine was behind me because I hadn’t seen her since the start of the race.) At one point I looked back and could actually see her–only about 200-300 yards back. This surprised me–I didn’t expect her to be so close.
At this point, I’ll mention that she’s been training for a triathlon, and so has been doing a lot more swimming and biking along with her running, while I’ve been just doing the running thing. I think the cross training has been making her stronger.
We hit the trail section again and my legs were done. I was struggling to keep going and even started walking at one point. But then I heard a voice behind me, "C’mon Craig! You can do it!" And so I started running again, but by the end of the trail section, I was wasted.
As I got out on the road, the last quarter mile was a steady hill before a final dash to the finish line. I looked behind me and Christine was right there.
I started pushing up the hill, fully expecting her to blow by me and pass me at any time, but I wasn’t going to let her off easy. She spared my ego by letting me beat her by seconds.
The boys did really well in the 5k. ~K~ came in 3rd overall (and won a $25 gift card). ~D~ came in first in his age group.
Christine and I both placed 2nd in our age groups.
Compared to the year before, I did really well–shaving 7 minutes off of my time. And the fact that Christine almost beat me?
Well, she’s a force to be reckoned with. I’m going to have to ramp up my game if I’m going to keep up.