Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The American Heroes Race

It's been over a week since this race and I'm just now getting the recap posted.  Since then, Angelia and I have done a bike rally and Julian has done another triathlon.  By the time I get all 3 recaps posted, Angelia will be doing her first triathlon.  In other words, this blog is about to get heavy on the recaps.

The American Heroes Race was held on Memorial Day on a course around Texas Rangers Stadium.  Angelia and her running buddy Debbie were set to take on the 10k while Julian and I ran the 5k.  Julian had been doing the most running and expected to run well.  I think I had gotten out for a single 30 minute jog the week prior so I wasn't expecting greatness but felt I'd be fine.  Angelia and Debbie have both been overcoming injuries so their goal was simply to finish, preferably without walking, and in time for the 5k awards ceremony (in case Julian got anything).

Debbie, Angelia, Julian, and me pre-race
The day was hot, humid, and windy but frankly nowhere near as bad as it could've been.  There was a lot of cloud cover so at least the sun wasn't blaring down on us.  Julian and I weren't pre-registered so I headed over to the registration table to get us set up.  One problem .... I had no cash, no checks, and I forgot my ATM card.  Thankfully, Ang's mom swooped in to save the day!  We got our numbers pinned on, timing chips attached, and took the packets to the car (I somehow managed to get a spot literally across the street from the registration table).

The start was set up in 2 waves, one for those being chip-timed and one for those who weren't.  Julian and I got lined up, had a pre-race GU Jet Blackberry, listened to a good rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, watched a Blackhawk fly over, and it was time to race!

The first mile was very crowded but didn't feel congested.  It was like we had all agreed on a pace until things opened up.  It was a "just right" pace where I didn't feel like I was being held up too much and it kept me from taking off too fast.  Julian, as is typical early in a race, hung right with me.

Mile 1: 8:15

I told Julian to go on ahead, that the course was well marked and he has been training more on the run.  Once again he did his typical thing by pulling ahead of me by about a whopping 30ft then settled into the same pace constantly looking over his shoulder for me.

Mile 2: 7:45

The 5k and 10k routes split at this point with the 5k doing a quick turn-around before diverting around the ballpark.  Julian made the turn and I told him, "There's only a mile to go.  Kick it in!"  With that he suddenly darted forward weaving around everyone in his path.  This mile was strong for him and he smartly poured some water over his head at one of the aid stations (I didn't teach him that).  Me?  I maintained pace which was a good thing.

Mile 3: 7:47

The final stretch was all uphill in the wind.  Ugh!  It was also a bit longer than anticipated.  I did however succeed in my usual 5k goal - "to be close enough to see Julian cross the line".  The crowds were excellent with tons of cheering over the last quarter-mile.

Last .3mi: 7:43min/mi pace

Garmin says ..... 3.29mi in 26:00 for an avg pace of 7:55min/mi with a peak pace of 6:31min/mi.

Official results say:
Julian - 25:21.2 - 1/9 Age 9-10
Chris - 26:01.1 - 8/21 Age 35-39

All in all I thought it was a great race for both of us.  Not PR's but right in line with our best previous efforts even with the wind and humidity.  We knew we'd have some time before Ang and Debbie finished their 10k so we did what everyone does after a 5k ...... sit in a Blackhawk.

No, you may not take off.
The organizers began prepping for the awards ceremony and still no sign of the girls.  People migrated from their posts as cheering spectators along the final stretch to the award table.  Suddenly the finish was looking somewhat abandoned.  I hated that Angelia wasn't going to get the roar of the crowd that greeted Julian and I.  Even worse, by this point I knew Julian had won his age group and was worried she was going to miss it.  Remember, her modest goal going into the event was "Finish in time for the award ceremony."  Then ....

There they are!  Easily recognizable from a distance in their matching Rockwall Running Center race shirts.  This was going to be just like the Trinity River Levee Run earlier this year where after her first 10k I gave her a quick congrats and rushed her over to see Julian get his award!  Ang and Debbie crested the final hill holding onto each other basically willing each other to the finish.  It was clear the run had been a struggle but they were still putting one foot in front of the other and were almost there!  With a final surge they crossed the line - tired but happy.  This wasn't how they planned things when they put this race on the calendar but considering all the challenges of the previous month it was a clear victory.

And yes, she got to see Julian get his 1st place award.

Angelia, Julian, and Debbie after the awards ceremony.
After that, it was off to IHOP and then my dad's house where Connor was already having some good ol' Memorial Day fun!

Why swim when you can ride on a grandparent?


Patrick Mahoney said...

Love the family picture, that's great.

I think the pup want in on that swim...

TRI714 said...

very cool.

Jason said...

sounds like an extremely successful Memorial Day Weekend.

Congrats to Julian on his placing. Great job.

Colleen said...

I think it's super cool that you race as a family. And Julian is a speed demon! :) Congrats to everyone!

Anonymous said...

Wow that's awesome!! Great job!

Michael said...

Julian is going to be insanely fast when he's a little older. That's awesome!! Congrats to him for 1st place. Maybe he should be my new running coach :)

Love the pic in the pool. Looks like the dog is about to jump in too.

B.o.B. said...

congrats to all of you! and super cool on the blackhawk!