Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Runway 5k


I've been wanting to get back to how running started for me, small, locally put on, short distance races and this small 5k benefiting Untamed Spirit, “a program designed to enhance and enrich the lives of individuals with special needs through a partnership with horses” was perfect. It was close to home and I knew it wouldn't take too much time away from my family.

It took place at the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum, located in rural Virgina Beach. We would be running a cross country course on the grass runway and through the dinosaur park.
The race coordinator warned us that we wouldn't get a PR today, but I always *hope* I'm going to PR. I can't help it. Getting better is why I compete. 

It was a cold and windy morning. After warming up I was comfortable and decided to keep my outer layer on. A decision I would quickly regret. I hadn't thought too much about my race strategy either, another move I would regret. I was given some sound advice to start a bit slower and then hit the gas a little later into the race. Even though, I wanted to do this, it didn't happen. In true Courtney fashion I put the pedal to the metal right out of the gate. By mile one I was slowing down and HOT. I decided to not worry about speeding up. Instead, I wanted to concentrate on keeping a steady pace. Even if I wasn't going to PR I thought I could hold onto third place as I noticed that only two women were ahead of me. 

I knew I would never catch #1. She ended up running it in 22 and some change! I did, however, keep #2 in my sights. She too was hot, shedding layers as she ran, but more importantly she was slowing!

So here I am, hot and already fatigued, running on a grass runway trying not to slip and then they throw you for a loop, literally. I was looping through a grassy knoll littered with dinosaur replica’s. All the looping back and forth slowed me down.

This was obviously not taken on race day :)
Once we were out of our little loop through Jurassic Park, I steadied my pace and was able to close in on #2. She must have tried to make up for lost time running around the dino's and sprinted ahead to only tire herself out as she was now taking walk breaks. I tried not to think about her and just run my race, but as I got closer and the finish was near, I new I was going to try and go in for the kill! I didn't want to start my final kick too soon and run out gas before the finish. And I didn't want to start too late and not be able to catch her, so with about three tenth's of a mile to go I made my move...

I closed the distance between us quickly. As soon as I was on her heels she felt my presence and started sprinting too. As we are sprinting that last tenth of a mile, neck in neck, I could hear everyone cheering, but I couldn't see anything but the finish  line. I have this weird tunnel vision thing happen when things get intense. With maybe 20 feet left to go, I could feel her edging over into my space. WTH! Is that even legal? I don't know if it was intentional or not, or even if it really happened! I might have edged into her space? I don't know, anyway, it doesn't matter. What matters is that with her edging me over I fell a step behind. She crossed the finish line first @ 24:44 and I was 2 seconds back with 24:46. 2 little seconds! 2! And you know what? I don't care. I mean I care, of course I care, BUT, it was so exciting!! I loved the excitement! The thrill of competition! It was an awesome feeling! A feeling that somehow has escaped me during this last year of running. A feeling I hope is here to stay! I enjoyed this race so much more than I have enjoyed most of the races I completed this year.

I ended up taking 3rd overall and second in my age group. It was such a small race that they only gave out 1st place overall awards. Everyone else went to the age groups. Even though, it was a small race, my age group, 30-39 was tough. The first place finisher overall was 33. #2 was second overall and first in our age group at a whopping 31 years old. Then I come with my walker to take 2nd at the ripe old age of 38! The 3rd place finisher was 30.  I can draw a diagram if you need help sorting that out, but on paper, not on the computer. Us old people don't know how to do that! It actually makes me feel pretty good that I was able to hang with those kids! Apparently, runners peak in their late 30's. Does that mean I am now looking at the back side of the mountain? I don't think I am ready for that just yet! Oh and the organizer  was right, no PR for me. Next time for sure!

I'm still not sure what this guys costume was all about.
Or this one...but it made for a good photo.

Some of my MRTT momma's.


  1. Great race and congrats on placing. It's too bad they didn't give awards to anyone other than 1st place, but that is still SO awesome!

    1. Thank you!! And thanks for reading!! I love small races!

  2. Fantastic race and congratulations on placing. If runners peak in their late 30's and I took up running at 42 does that mean I peaked before I even started ;)

    1. Lets hope not! :) and lets hope whoever said that is just wrong!!! I don't plan on giving up anytime soon!Thanks for reading!