We started the day at 4 am and made our way down to Coachman Park where the race start was. Most of my running club was volunteering at the race so once I had my bib and race shirt in hand James and Audrey headed off to meet the Striders. I believe there were at least 50 volunteers at the 4.5/6.1/9 mile water stop.
The first awesome part was getting to run the first 6 miles my speedy friend Rebecca, my goal was to slow her down and her goal was to speed me up. Well that was great for a while, we were keeping a sub 10:00 pace even over the bridges.
I came running up to the water stop where everyone was volunteering at around mile 4.5 and everyone started screaming and yelling when they saw us, it was so cool and definitely gave me a boost of energy.
Jen heard me say I may PR and decided that she would run with me for a mile or so until we came back out of the park where the water stop was at.
I came running up to the water stop where Audrey and James were and was clearly very excited to see Audrey handing out water.
I stopped for a minute to take a quick picture before being yelled at to keep on pace. I had showed James my Garmin and it said I was at a 10:00 even pace even after the stop and the bridges for the first 6 miles.
After being told to get going I took off on my own, I made the goal of keeping my pace as close to 10:00 as possible. This plan worked out well and I was still at 10:06 avg pace when I saw the Striders again at mile 9. I came running past with a ton of energy because of everyone load cheers, Jen jumped out of the water line and decided she would run me over the next bridge so I would stay on pace.
Unfortunately as soon as I got to the bridge my legs decided they were done and despite Jen's encouragement to run I decided to walk up the bridge. Everything after that pretty much sucked I was over the bridges and I think I under-fueled because I stopped caring about running as soon as I realized a PR was out of reach.
With less than a mile to go I looked back and saw Suzan, we were at the start together and had compared expected finish times which turned out to be really similar but I lost her in the first few miles when I took off with Rebecca.
We turned our music up and ran to the finish line together and finished within seconds of each other. After we had our medals we grabbed a beer and some food and I waited for James and Audrey to come find me.
Audrey decided that she should play race photographer and walked around taking pictures of everything including this shot of James and I.
We got to see Aaron and Audrey asked him to take a picture of all three of us which made her very happy.
Once I was in the van with a dry jacket on I was in an even better mood. We headed home and got ready for a small birthday party for James and a few well deserved beers.