|Here we go!|
Once we got to Eagle River I jogged over to pick up my packet. I love small town races where I can walk up a half hour before the race and pick up my packet without having to stand in line forever (same with the port-a-potty lines). Though I was disappointed when they said that the only size shirts they had were large and extra large. If you're going to ask me what size shirt I want during registration then you should be able to provide me that size when I pick up my packet. Oh well...
As I headed up the first "hill" (total elevation gain/loss was about 20-28 feet) I remember thinking that in 2011 I hated these "hills" and that today I barely noticed the inclines! I still had a lot of bobbing and weaving to do and I nearly got punched in the face by a little kid who'd suddenly stopped and threw her arms up in the air.
I would randomly check my watch and I felt like my pace was adequately difficult for this being a race. There was a part of my brain that told me to slow down. First, because I was running MUCH faster than I'd anticipated and I figured that I wouldn't be able to maintain this pace for the duration, even if it is only 3 miles! Secondly, even if I did maintain the pace that everyone would be in the coffee shop when I crossed the finish line (it happened to my sister in 2011) so I'd slow down (for about 2-3 breaths) and then I was right back at the same pace.
Mile 1: 8:50
Mile 2: 8:52
I neared the half way point/water stop and realized that I still hadn't seen anyone on the way back yet. This made me feel awesome!! I made the turn and started heading back and I felt great. I was looking ahead of me and picking people that I wanted to pass and I'd drop my arms and pull past them. It felt absolutely amazing and as soon as I saw that we were headed down the straightaway to the final turn I took off my sweatshirt. I figured that in case Mom, Dad and Dan missed my finish that the official photographer would capture me crossing the finish line (my bib was covered up with my sweatshirt) so I kept running and tied the shirt around my waist.
Then I made that final turn and started to head across the bridge when I saw Dan - but he was walking away from me so I yelled to him. He turned around and said "Oh Sh!t, you're going too fast!" but he managed to get a few photos. I tried to find a good solid kick for the finish. I crossed the finish line, crossed my hand over my heart and knew that I left it all out there.
Mile 3: 8:41
Mile .1: 7:19
This was the first year they offered space blankets - which was REALLY nice given how cold it was. I took the blanket, my medal and had Dan snap a few finish line photos before grabbing water and snacks. I stopped to check if they posted results and saw that unofficially I'd finished 6th in my division!
Official Race Results
Overall: 69 out of 330
Division: 6 out of 24
Gender: 27 out of 217