Race Date: November 24, 2011
Bec: 1st, 28:18
Laurel: 2nd: 28:33
Since wrapping up my tri season on October 2 at the Dallas U.S. Open, I've gone back to being a one sport athlete. My coach, Cliff English, and I decided that it would be a good time to focus only on running, in order to get back some of the speed I lost due to injuries the last 2 years. Starting in mid-October, I began doing some strength and interval workouts -- my first since 2009 -- and have been slowly building mileage since.
Meanwhile, Laurel has been doing the same and just last weekend placed 4th in a competitive 5k cross country race in Van Cortland Park. She actually beat my best time on that course by a second and in the process helped lead NYAC to the team title.
Realizing that both of us were getting into decent shape, we decided to race each other in a turkey trot. After doing some scouting to find the most competitive race that logistically made sense with our thanksgiving travel plans, we decided on the Ashenfelter 8k in Glen Ridge, NJ.
Race morning was chilly (maybe 40 degrees at the start) and when the gun went off, I realized how many people were in the race. I was instantly in about 40th place and one of the people in front of me was Laurel! At about just under a mile, I moved past her and never looked back. If I had taken a glance over my shoulder, I would have seen that she stayed just a few seconds behind me the whole race.
We crossed the finishline just 15 seconds apart, both in big PR's. According to my Nike GPS, the never flat course was exactly 8k and my splits were (5:30/5:41/5:39/5:45/5:45). 8k is a distance we hardly run, but those splits translate to a 10k in the lower 35's!
We didn't get a chance to meet Horace Ashenfelter (NYAC steeplechaser & 1955 Olympic gold medalist) after the race, but I'm sure he was proud that his NYAC teammates brought home 1st and 2nd prizes! --Bec
post race bagel & coffee cup