Sunday, January 2, 2011

Superman 5k

The medal for 1st overall.
On New Year's Day Angelia and Julian hit the ground running.  The event: the Superman 5k, a frigid affair near Caruth Lake in Rockwall and put on by Rockwall Running Center.  This was a unique race in that for the first time we unleashed Julian to run his pace.  We enlisted the help of some grandparents to watch for him at the finish line as I was unsure if I could make it.  Why?  Well, remember that fitness ride I lead out of Rockwall Cycling?  The other leader of that ride, Keith, was running this race with his wife.  That made my first order of business to wait and see if any cyclists were crazy enough to venture out for a ride in freezing temperatures.  None did and I booked it over to the YMCA in my car, parked, and hopped on my bike to find the runners who had started 10 minutes prior.

By the time I found the finish line the lead runners weren't too far out.  Too cold to just stand there and wait I decided to ride the path in reverse and see where everyone was.  They were closer than I expected as I didn't even have to stray from Caruth Lane (which is only 1k long).  I recognized a few of the leaders, especially 2nd overall runner Joel Gibbs who provided Julian with some coaching about a year ago.  Sooner than I expected I saw the first kid and immediately wondered if he was in Julian's division.  I parked my bike at the end of the lane and watched several runners pass.  Suddenly, there was Julian!  He was only the second kid I had spotted and wasn't too far back overall so I knew he was running well.  Unfortunately, he was too fast and cell phone cameras don't respond well to bicycle gloves so the best I could do was this photo:
He started to slow a bit when he saw me so I made sure to yell out to him while I rode alongside for a bit.  "Keep going!  There's only one kid ahead of you!  You're almost there!"  After those quick messages I accelerated to the finish line so he could stay focused and I could get another photo.

His grandparents, little brother, and I were all waiting at the finish.  Apparently they had been sitting in a warm car while I was freezing myself riding back and forth.  In a matter of minutes he came around the corner and headed towards us.  Connor reached out his hand for a high five but Julian was so focused he ran right past him, past the finish line cones, past the refreshment tables, all the way to the porta potties before I yelled, "Stop Forrest Julian!"  His first words to me were, "I almost threw up" to which I replied, "That's a good thing.  That means you ran your hardest."  I handed him one of my Gatorade bottles so he could rehydrate and we began watching for Momma.

Julian said he had seen Ang at the turnaround.  She was approaching the pond at Harry Myers park as he had just completed rounding it.  By my estimation she was running fairly well and shouldn't be too far behind.  After a little while I thought it was time once again to hop on the bike and check it out.  A little ways down Caruth Lane I saw her ..... walking.  She said she had experienced some cramping and a tight hamstring.  I let her know she was close which of course she knew as she was familiar with the route.  So I told her the one thing I thought might give her an extra jump.  "I think Julian got 2nd place!  He's at the finish line watching for you."  She was still walking as I headed back to the finish but when we saw her round the corner she was clearly running again.  She pushed that last half mile and crossed the line with what looked like a PR (personal record) according to her Forerunner.

Here's where everything fell apart.  The results were being calculated manually which meant we were all standing around in the frigid cold.  My winter cycling gear may be good when I'm riding but for standing around they are completely worthless.  Brrrrrr.  Everyone was cold but there was no way we were leaving as we were fairly certain Julian would be getting a medal.

Indeed, the first kid I spotted was 10 years old and Julian got 2nd place in the 10&Under division.  At this point we still had no idea what the official times were (the clock at the finish line was WAY off, like around 10 minutes).  Angelia nudged her way up to Coach Barrett and we got the details.  Julian had a PR of 26:40, crushing his old PR of 29:03 he set almost a year ago.  Angelia's time?  A new PR of 42:04, shaving 1:02 off her time at the Jingle Bell run a week earlier.  While Angelia will tell you she's pissed off disappointed because she was on pace for a potential sub-40 before the cramps, I think we can all agree that setting a new PR while fighting cramps and tightness is a remarkable accomplishment.
What a way to start off the new year ---  new PR's for Ang and Julian have 2011 off to a rockin' start!  Congratulations to both.

Event Review:
Accentuate the Positive
1) Started on time!
2) Well supported by both volunteers and police!
3) Fast but challenging route!
4) Costumed entrants!
Eliminate the Negative
1) Long wait post-race in the cold for medal presentation.
2) Clock at finish line was incorrect. Made it hard to know how runners did.
A great way to kick off the new year. Put on a costume and run a great, supported route!

And while we're at it, congratulations to my sister (Racing It Off) who took 2nd in the Athena division of the New Years Day Half Marathon!

1 comment:

Jenn (DisneyGirlInNJ) said...

love love love the medal! :) congrats, great way to start the year!