River Run 2006
Woo-hoo! New PR for the 15k in the River Run! I finished in 1:07:10, shaving a minute and 31 seconds off of my PR.
Towards the latter part of the week, all the talk was about the weather forecast. Come racetime, the thermometer wasn't the killer, it was the humidity. The sky was overcast at the start, and not just a little. It was filled with heavy cloud cover. I guess that was a good thing to keep the sun from bearing down on us, but at the same time, the air was thick. I think I heard 90% relative humidity. I can believe it, my singlet and shorts were soaked by mile 3.
I never felt comfortable during the race. I hit the 1 mile mark around 6:45, about 15 seconds faster than I wanted to. Mile 2 was 6:53, still faster than the 7:00 to 7:10 pace I was aiming for. Finally, miles 3, 4, and 5 were in that range, ranging from 7:02 to 7:13. The heart rate was pegged at 171, not bad. Mile 5 down Atlantic Blvd. seemed a bit slow, there was a light wind in my face. Miles 6 and 7 with all of their turns were not fast, coming in at 7:21 and 7:25. Grrrr, I was giving some of my banked time away! No matter, whatever banked time I had left, it was all gone going up the bridge. The snowman, not just a familiar sight to my golf game, appeared on my watch. Mile 8 took 8:05. Coming down the bridge, I opened my stride a bit, but never really felt like I was doing as much as I could. The nagging reminder that there is still 3/10 of a mile of work to do once you hit the bottom still held me back. Mile 9 was clocked at 7:00, and I did the finally 3/10 in 2:15 (7:30/pace). Finishing time was 1:07:10. I really wanted to come in under 1:07:00 so I could use the time for a seeding in next year's race. Oh well, that will come in a race later this year. I did get a Top 10% cap. Turns out, I finished somewhere around 425 out of over 9,000 participants (can't call them all runners).
I did have a funny moment coming down the bridge. Thursday night at dinner, Gil Weise, one of the River Run streakers, told the story of the time he was coming down the Hart Bridge at the end of the race and heard footsteps behind him. He looked back, and it was Bill Rodgers. Gil was amazed that he was leading the original River Run champ and 4-time Boston Marathon winner 8 miles into the race. He looked over and told Bill that he couldn't believe he was ahead of him. Bill fired back, "This is my second lap!" Well, coming down the bridge yesterday, I look over my shoulder, and there is Bill Rodgers! I asked him if this was his second lap and he said "Nope, it's my third!" I continued to run with him as long as I could, and Bill commented that they certainly don't have bridges like this in Boston. He was still running smoothly, and I has doing my best to keep up. I wanted to cross the finish line next to Bill. Unfortunately, Bill had a stronger kick and finished 6 seconds ahead of me. It was funny shadowing him that last part of the race and looking at the spectator's faces as he came by. There were the "Hey Bill!" shouts and others murmuring to each other as he went by. Many knew he was someone famous, but not completely sure.
Overall, I can't complain about a PR. I think I could've done a little better, and I'm certain I could've done a lot better of the weather was cooler. I also scored well for the River Club in the Gate Governor's Cup competition. I was the first finisher from the River Club. Does that mean I'm club champion? I finished ahead of some folks from the other clubs that our club had tried to recruit runners that could beat them, but never succeeded.