If you want low key, low cost and good old fashioned run-club-promoted racing, look no further than events at Salem Lake, near Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The Twin City Track Club delivers no frills events with a retro vibe; their 30K and 50K runs are growing each year.
This time around, it was rain all day. We were wet off the start and stayed that way to the finish. However, temps were in the high 60's, so it wasn't wet and cold.
My race was quite normal, a casual out and back on a course that initially tracks around Salem Lake on dirt roads, then onto the paved greenway path for several miles, then return.
I had my Zune and opted for a bit of Podrunner. If you haven't tried this download, it's excellent. Techno-pop dance tunes, set to a beat runners can enjoy:
On the return leg, I had a bit of gas left in the tank and was able to increase the pace (please understand this means accelerating to a 10-minute mile). I started to pass a few runners on the course.
I slowly gained on one competitor and eased by (here's where the story gets a bit better). This character decided to race, charging back by on a downhill. He then proceeded to expire and drop back once again. I went by a second time, but on this occasion added a small flair.
Master Competitor surged past, dropped in front on his line and then...I began to dance. Sort of a disco display that I picked up in the early 1970's...moving forward on the course, but twisting, turning and shaking a bit of booty. I wanted that runner to know that on this day, old master man was not only faster, he had a bit of rhythm left in his shuffle!
The point is this - let's not take our sport so seriously. Sometimes it's time to push hard, but on other occasions let's make a dance party out of the event.
I will work more on my running/dance combo. I first improvised this technique during a 50K in Florida several years ago. May polish the moves a bit more, then launch a YouTube instructional video. Stay tuned.