This race was so different, and not in a great way. At the big race two weeks ago there were people from other states and countries. There were 1900 runners and 500 volunteers. There were friends and family out in record numbers to support their friends and family. My point, it was easy to get lost in the crowd. I liked that.
This weekend Todd and I were two of less than 80 people running the first annual Hundreds of Feet 5k in Bedford, Va in support of the Bedford Hospice House. It was obvious upon arrival that we were amongst real runners at this race. I was more than nervous as my competitive nature can be unrivaled at times, even when I don't have much in competitive ability.
I tried for the first few minutes to keep Todd's pace which was not a good idea. I just can't match his long strides and running too fast at the beginning of a race can make you expend too much energy too soon. As more and more runners past me by I began to get a little discouraged so I focused inwards to my own goals. I had two this time, no secret goals. To not walk at all and to finish in 36 minutes.
The course was through some 'winding Bedford neighborhoods with moderate rolling hills' which meant two big hills. It's hard to find flat ground around here on which to race. I did my best to keep a good pace but halfway through all I wanted was to walk. I finally succumbed and began to walk at a brisk pace at about the two mile point. This is when I took a moment to take in my surroundings. There were runners in front of my with a distance of about 50 yards and runners behind me at about 100 yards. I felt that it was pretty obvious that I was the last of the true runners. I decided that whether or not I finished in the time I had allotted myself, that I needed to run. So I picked up my feet and did the best I could. At the end though, all I wanted was to walk and as I passed the finish line I again felt dry heaves, but I had alas finished the race with only about 1 minute of walking. However, I was overall very pleased with my time. I finished my first 5k in 32:23. This will be my baseline on which I plan to improve for further 5ks, which there is another one Saturday after next.
Todd finished the race in 25:05, he came in third in his age division. He will tell you it wasn't hard with so few runners (about half were runners, half were walkers) but he really did very well.
The winner of the race, a 20 year old Jordan Whitlock who came in 21st at the 10 miler two weeks ago, finished the race in 17 minutes and then ran the course again just for fun.