I don't often race short distance events, but the 4 Mile Challenge at Alliance Bible Fellowship is always too good a time to pass up.
Great church event, great cause (all proceeds will be donated to the Kimbro Family & Medical Outreach in Trujillo, Peru) and great course...flat, then downhill, then at 2.1 a major climb, then descent to flat, then a major uphill at the finish line.
The day started with drizzle and sad to report attendance was down based on wet weather. We busted out with a shotgun start. I went off the back and settled into master competitor shuffle mode. After the flat and descent I clocked 7:52 at mile one. We were cruising the downhill by now, so I tried to pick up the pace without jamming my back or knees. Mile two split = 14:36.
Not bad for old mopey dope, hey? But then the pain came. We rounded a curve and started to climb a snake like road that went up for about a mile. Some were walking, while others tried to blast the hill, then expired.
Rookie exhilaration always fades.
I was slow but steady and made my three mile split at 24:26 (I think, this is from memory) and soon after was able to break the crest and sail down some steep downhills. The road was slick and I was afraid of busting my behind, so I was a bit cautious. A character in Under Armor apparel was walking the uphill and after I passed him, he passed me back on the downhill section, running like a banshee. I fell in behind him, knowing a final climb was coming. Sure enough, he stalled into another walk as we took the left up the hill and I slugged past to post a 33:03 finishing time.
I took my age group win, but that's not the big spiff: My time was good enough to go top three in most of the 30 and 40 year old divisions.
Good fun and good eats afterwards. Saw my old buddy Jim, the retired surgeon who at 83 still runs in masters events. I realize this is a small town race and I'm competing among a tiny gaggle of geese, but what the heck. Pulling a medal and a smattering of applause doesn't come easy at 53.
I'll take the finish and call it a day.