Dad and I ran the Sugarloaf Mountain 15K (9.3 miles) yesterday. Thought I’d send out the glory or gory details.
This race was not one of the planned ones. Doreen and I were going to work a volunteer station with Mom and Dad – handing out water, gateraide, and/or gels. We thought it would be a good chance to spend time with Mom and do something for a belated Mother’s day. However, a couple weeks ago, Dad asked if I wanted to run the race instead of volunteer. I said sure. Dad has been having fun running with people in Guilford, and thought he would be up to it.
Things changed even more after Grandma had her hospital trip. Mom decided to stay in Dover with Grandma, and let Dad go by himself. The race had a 7:30am start. We thought it would be better to stay in Farmington then drive the entire distance early Sunday morning. When we were volunteering, Doreen and I were going to drive up and back Sunday. Because of the overnight stay, Doreen stayed in Gardiner with Steven, and I made the trip by myself. It was nice to spend time with Dad. We stayed in a Farmington hotel Saturday night (about one hour from Gardiner and Dover), and made the drive up to Kingfield for the race Sunday morning (another 30 – 35 minutes.)
Dad confided one interesting thing: he talked about Mom having it rough with Grandma and his health issues. I asked what was up with him, and he said his memory has been slipping. Seeing how Grandma Hartley had issues with Alzheimer’s, that is the worry. He has been talking to his doctor and they are watching things. We are all hoping for the best. That’s a tough one. A lot of the symptoms Dad described – forgetting names, getting dates mixed up, and other memory things, happens to me and lots of people.
Saturday evening, Dad and I went to Pizza Hut for a spaghetti dinner. Dad (and Mom) paid for the hotel room. Even though I made an effort to help, the only thing he let me do was pay for the meal. I think I got the better deal. The room had cable so we were able to watch a Red Sox game. Unfortunately, the Red Sox were spanked by the Braves – a couple hundred to zip. We didn’t watch the whole thing. Before the game we went into down town Farmington and ran around for 40 minutes. He went one way and I another. That was nostalgic for me. Doreen and I lived in Farmington from 1992 (I think?) to 1995. Doesn’t sound like a long time, but it was when we were young, and even though it was over 10 years ago, it doesn’t seem that far off. I ran around the elementary school Steven started at – from October 1995 to December 1995 before we moved to Gardiner. Also saw Doreen’s College – UMF, and the Sweat-Winter day care: Steven’s day care when he was three. I guess I ran down memory lane.
The night’s sleep was ok, but not perfect – being in a strange bed and place. We planned on waking up at 5:00am and leaving by 5:20 am to get to the race by 5:50 am. It is a point-to-point race and they bus people from the end to the start at 6:00am sharp. Dad and I were awake around 4:30 am, and ready to go a little after 5:00am. We left early arriving to take the bus quite a bit before 6:00am. Then I did a stupid thing. Locked my keys in the car! Oh boy. A couple years ago Dad did something similar at the start of a race, and I thought he over reacted, getting upset and all. Now I know how he felt. My biggest concern was not getting the doors unlocked. I knew that would eventually happen. I was freaking a bit about getting my running sneakers out of the car! I had an old, cheap, beat up pair of sneakers on. I think they would have caused an injury if I ran in them.
Lucky enough we found a guy who may have been a professional car thief. He took a coat hanger, and within a few minutes had the car unlocked. He seemed to know what he was doing. After the night in Farmington, and getting to the start of the race after breaking into my car, the race was a breeze. Using this interesting racing tool, http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/rununiv/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm, I determined a conservative, slowish goal pace for me would be around 7:30 minutes per mile. I figured it would feel pretty slow to me, and that the work would come because the race is long. It rained or down poured for most of the race, adding to the atmosphere.
The race started a few minutes late due to timing issues. A marathon also happened that day. It starts at 7:00am, and they have the 15K start 30 minutes later. I think they start the 15K when the marathon timer goes from (x):59 to (x+1):00, so the race times would be in-sync. They were waiting for the “timer” official to go from the marathon start to the 15K start. As of 7:30am the person had not arrived. Around 7:35am or so we were off. All the racers were eager to get started. It is better to run in the rain then to stand in it.
I was close to the front and had no problems with slow pokes. I felt like the slow poke as people were passing me. The start was just before the mile marker 17 of the marathon course. It took 45 to 50 seconds for me to get to mile marker 17. Not sure how long that was – 1/10th of a mile maybe? I don’t remember all the splits. At mile 19 of the marathon (mile two point something in the 15K) I was exactly 15 minutes: a little faster than 7:30 miles. At mile 25 of the marathon (mile eight point something in the 15K) I was 60 minutes 10 seconds. I lost a little ground, but still faster than 7:30 miles. It rained very HARD around the 25 minute point, and the rain kind of stopped and things sort of brightened around the 40 something minute point. Other then those two periods, it just plain rained the rest of the time.
One person passed me between mile 7 and 8, but I was sandbagging it. At mile 8 I picked it up and caught that person and a couple others. I finished strong. I am a little ashamed to say when I got to the finish I sort of slowed up and put on a pleasant face for the picture! The picture from the last race was scary looking.
I forgot to stop my watch at the very end – waiting a few seconds (maybe 10+ seconds?). It read 1 hour, 8 minutes, 58 seconds. If that was the time the pace comes out to 7:25. The official times are not out yet. Dad did great too, finishing I think around 30 minutes after me: 1:39 or so (around 10:39 pace). Very fast for not running that much over the last few months.
On my way home I stopped by the mobile home Doreen, Steven and I lived in when we were in Farmington. I stopped the car, and went into the old cemetery that is across the street. Does everyone remember that cemetery? Grandpa used to like walking through it when he visited. I took a couple photos with my cell phone to show Doreen and Steven, and then went home.
Here are the results: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/07/me/May20_Sugarl_set1.shtml
My next race is in Gardiner. A 5 miler on June 23 that Dad also plans on running.