It's also the first year they added a 10k, of which I was oblivious, much to my dismay. See, I wanted to walk out to St. Charles and catch some of the leaders before church, and I woke up late, threw on a sweatshirt, grabbed coffee, and walked as fast as I could to the turn-around. I was sure I'd missed the leaders. But nothing. Crickets. Finally, the lead car went by, sweeping the course. And more nothing. I pulled out my phone, found the website, and realized that the 10k started first, and the half and full were later by a whole half hour!
So I had some time to walk a bit further up the course. It was perfect running weather, cool and sunny, and I was happy to be out spectating. I knew I couldn't really cheer thanks to some terrible mouth sores.
I guess now is as good a time to tell you as any that I have been really struggling with awful oral ulcers due to my sulfonamide allergy. Ever since my bad reaction in the summer when I took Bactrim post-op, I've dealt with deep, painful ulcers on and under my tongue whenever I'm even slightly exposed to the drug. That's a huge problem, because at work, I'm exposed almost every day! Friday night I had to fill a prescription for Bactrim by myself, so I couldn't have one of my techs fill it - they had gone home. I gloved and wore a mask, but still, I woke up Sunday with a cut-up, bleeding mouth. Misery! I am sure I'll eventually figure this out, but for now, I could barely speak. So I was not actually able to do much cheering at all!
Finally, the men rounded the corner, and I picked out Ben Bruce, who I knew would be racing. He was neck and neck with another guy I didn't recognize; it turned out to be Mike Popejoy, who beat him by half a minute at the finish.
It wasn't long before I saw the women, and I was looking for Tia! I saw her name the week before in our paper's online article. She was listed in the elite field for the race. But first came Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, far ahead of any other women.
Then the pack started to get crowded, and before long, along came Tia, running with an incredibly smooth and long stride! I couldn't really cheer much, but I did get some terrible pictures (I didn't think to turn my auto-HD off, and the sun triggered it - it doesn't work well at all for action shots).
|Tia in pink, on the sunny side of St. Charles!|
I really wished I was racing today! That beautiful course, the lovely weather (although I bet the full got warm in the sun as time passed), and many of my friends. Ah well, maybe another year.
I noticed that it seemed to be a slow race, despite the perfect conditions, and I think I'm blaming it on race saturation. I feel like we have so many races in our area (including, of course, one last week!) that our local competition is diluted. This year the women's race was won in 3:04, which would have barely gotten you in the top ten in other years. But another factor is the change to Competitor Group's elite program - without that, I don't think we'll a lot of women running in the 2:40's unless they are taking advantage of the course for a PR or a record.
Have you noticed your local races getting faster or slower? What's the cause? What's your theory?