It's not often a golf course will allow a run on it's cart paths, but the Golf Club of Rocky Mount is an exception. I mean, heck, they only make $ when golfers are playing ... not when runners are running! But for this event runners start at 8:15 am and the golfers go out following them. Actually seems to work out good for everyone concerned.
The Golf Course at Rocky Mount (what a frickin' long name!) is REALLY beautiful. I play golf there and ran there while they were constructing the course, plus I have volunteered at this race for two years. But this year I decided to run.
I love the time just before the race starts. Great chance to see folks you haven't seen in a while and catch up some. Way too many folks to mention every one!
I had chosen to run the 5k. For some reason, most everyone thinks that's funny. But not me. This was a chance to demonstrate my "killer" speed on a short run! But since my surgery I have done ZERO speed work. So, I walked to the starting line ... trying to come up with a plan!
So . . . I decided to start just a tad slower then usual and try to hold a steady pace until 2 1/2 miles and then see what I could do. Since my GPS is broken, nothing was really known: not my pace, not my distance run . . . just had the mile markers on the course and I figured they were pretty close. Actually I LIKED that I didn't have all that information.
The 10k started first and then about 5 minutes later the 5k race started. Four waves and I joined the 3rd wave. Soon, noticed I was passing quite a few folks ... odd for me! But I felt like I was 'on plan' so I just kept my pace. Near the end of the 1st hole I heard footsteps quickly coming up behind me. Again ... odd! And when they came up beside me it got even more odd! It was Tom Thurman! Tom should have been in the 1st wave! But as he passed me he said he had been late to the start!
Other then Tom, no other 5k runner passed me during the race.
Up ahead I saw Eric Ghiloni who was running is very first race ever! How cool is that! My pace was just a little quicker so I slowly moved ahead.
Got to the aid station (1/2 way I guess) when I definitely got a surprise and a bath! Someone yelled "Frank, we're supposed to 'soak you' when you pass by!" So everyone threw a cup of water on me! The kids loved it ,,, and so did I!
At about the 2 1/4 mile point heard someone behind me yell 'Stay the the right, 10k runner coming!' You've got to be kidding me! Soon a biker passed and right behind him, Tim Surface flashed by me! Man, was he smokin'!! But I had really hoped this wouldn't happen ... passed by a 10k-er. :-(
I continued to feel okay and was holding my pace fairly well. As I approached the end of the 17th hole I tried to pick it up a little but I didn't have much in the tank. As I neared the halfway point of the 18th hole I saw another older guy just ahead (read: maybe in my age bracket!) ... and he became my target. Passed him at about the 3 mile point but just ran out of gas. Unfortunately, the last 1/10 was an uphill.
But I tried to pick up the pace even more at the end when I heard Michael Forrester yelling "Frank, don't let him pass you!' I'm guessing the 'him' was my target! Don't know for sure . . . 'cause he didn't make the pass! :-)
28:14 . . . a 9:07 pace. Not great but not to bad either. It was fun and that's what matters!
And I was racin' and not just runnin'! NICE!
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