This race was the Old Hallowell Day’s 4 miler. I’ve run the race in 2002 (when it was a 5 mile race), 2003, and 2004. I skipped 2005 because of the surgeries. The little quirk they seem to do, not sure if it is intentional or not, is change the start and end each year. 2002 was a five miler so you can’t compare it to the four miler it became in 2003. I think the start and stop of the race in 2002 was the same as 2003 though. In 2003 I ran the four mile race in 27:45, the fastest I’ve ever run 4 miles. The start was near Hallowell’s town hall, and the end was down by a public access boat landing. 2004’s time was 28:00, and it started and ended next to the Kennebec River, behind apartment buildings. This year the time was 28:32. I think that’s the time, it was what I recorded on my watch anyway. They haven’t posted the results yet. It started and ended in the center of Route 201, right smack in the middle of town.
It was supposed to start at 8:00am, but didn’t. That was kind of a bummer. It was hot, and the sooner it started, the cooler it would be. The race announcer said they were waiting for the official time keeper. He eventually showed up, and the race started between 8:05 and 8:10. We ran down the wide Route 201 for 300-400 yards or so and then entered the “Rail Trail,” a three or four foot wide trail between the Kennebec River and a rail road. By the time I got to the rail trail I was running with three or four people, so we didn’t have any problem with the skinny running area.
My heart rate soon shot up over 170, just like what happened in the five mile race last month. I wasn’t too concerned because I was able to run the five miler at that heart rate without bonking, so I kept running hard. Mile one went by in 6:58, and I was happy. I wanted to finish at a 7:00 minute pace.
Mile two I was running near three other people. One 20 to 25 year old lady, one 12-13 year old girl, and one 50+ year old guy. The two ladies were in front of us, and the guy said to me, “our goal is to beat the little girl.” He met that goal, but unfortunately, I did not. Mile two was the turn around point of the race and it went by in 7:05 slower than mile one. I was happy with my effort and concentration level. It was very hot though, and I started to think about the bike ride I had done the day before – going to work and back on my bike Friday. Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea to do before this race?
Oh well, during mile three the 50+ year old took off. He was taking it easy during the first two miles I think, because I suspect he caught many people during the last two miles. I’ll be curious if I can figure out who he was by looking at the ages when the race results come out. Not many passed me, but the 13 and 25 year old ladies and I exchanged places twice. I passed them at some point in the last mile, but they passed me in the last quarter mile or so! Bummer. Mile three was 7:13, and mile four was 7:15 – your classic positive split race with mile times of 6:58; 7:05; 7:13; and then 7:15. Each one slower than the one before. The suggested strategy is to run the miles with the opposite times – starting with a 7:15 first mile and finishing with the fastest mile. I guess the theory is that if I ran the first mile in 7:15 I would be able to speed up faster than I slowed down – so the splits may have been 7:15; 7:10; 7:00; and then 6:50 for a time of 28:15 – 15 seconds faster. I’m not sure if the reason behind the strategy is physical or mental though. I don’t think I could have run it much harder, so if the reason is mental I think I ran it as fast as I possibly could that day. However, if it is physical – something with how the body works, then maybe there is something to it.
Well that’s the report and insights from the last race.