Thursday, October 04, 2007

Silicon Labs Marathon Relay - September 30, 2007

It was a warm morning. At 5:00am I wake up. I had around 3-4 hours of sleep the night before. New rule - always bring your own car out when it's the night before a race and you're going out for one beer... maybe two... Less that ideal conditions for race morning.

After my typical pre-race routine I was off in my car on my way to the race.

The race starts at 8:00, but I show up just before 7:00 to grab a close parking spot to Auditorium Shores where I first see the starting line.

I walk in and find Noah already setting up our make shift relay camp. A few chairs and a blanket never looked so inviting.

After a bit of chatting, I realize it's nearing 8:00 and I'm the first runner in the relay for my group. Our group, who entered into the corporate men's division, was composed of 4 other runners from LDR Spine. I was hired contract for the day to be a marketing consultant, thus being eligible to be included. (That's a joke)

I jump right at the front of the starting line. In my last race at Pike's Peak, I got stuck in the back of the herd and it was a frustrating mistake I won't make again. As I glance at my watch about to bolt, I feel a person tapping at my shoulder, I look to the right and there's a news camera in my face asking me if I can beat the Texas Governor Rick Perry, who's about 4 feet ahead of me. I quickly say yes, because I'm younger, faster, and stronger and I go. In hind site, I wish I could have sounded a little less like a bonehead, but that's what you get from me on little sleep and a slight hangover.

Boom - I'm off. The 12K leg is underway.

The first mile of the race, I was around a 6:45 pace, and I really felt like I was holding back. Weird, I think that was just all the excitement from the start, as I knew I wouldn't be able to comfortably hold that for the remainder of the race. Hell, I haven't run a road race since my last marathon in February. All I'm on are the trails, many, many miles of trails. I'm also training for a 100K trail race, which is the opposite of a 12K on the roads. No eating, no walking up the hills, no camelbak. Just legs moving as fast as possible and lungs pounding.

I make it from Auditorium Shores to South First to 1st street then down Congress going south of the river. I find a good pace, something between 7:15 to 8:00ish and I lock in.

I hit a turnaround point on South Congress and headed straight towards the capital. I remember this from last year's Silicon Labs Relay. Such a cool sight - running right down Congress Avenue into downtown Austin.

After I loop around the capital I realize that it would have been a good idea to look at the race map before the race. Now it's well marked, but I like to have a sense of where my next turn is, especially since this is my home town and I can equate where I need to be pace-wise on what's ahead. Next I see Gilbert, a local Austin amazing runner, leading the pack and I realize that he must have made a turn back from 1st street. I cruise ahead and see that we go all the way down 1st to hook around Austin High then back to South 1st and to the finish line.

The next 2 miles are quick. I feel great. My momentum is strong. I make it to the final stretch, the claps, hoots and hollers get louder. I look ahead and see a few guys in front of me who I know I can pass up in the last 50 feet, hey - it's my style (sorry). I jet ahead and finish to see my next runner as we slap hands and he's gone for the 1st 10K leg.

Fun race. Fun times. Great group.

Oh and to add a little icing to the cake, while having a few drinks in the post-race beer pavilion we hear from the stage that we've won third place in our division. We go to the main stage to receive our awards and get our picture taken. In the picture you can see how happy I am. It was truly and awesome time.

Race Results:

LDR Spine - Overall time: 3:20:37.3, Pace: 7:08/M, Overall Mileage: 28.100 

Peter williams, Lap 1 (12K) 56:19.4 7:31/M 7.500
Tom reidmuller, Lap 2 (10K) 48:43.2 7:10/M 14.300
Noah Bartsch, Lap 3 (10K) 49:18.4 7:15/M 21.100
Randy Meyer, Lap 4 (5K) 22:45.5 6:30/M 24.600
Guillaume Quetier, Lap 5 (5K) 23:30.7 6:43/M 28.100