Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gate River Run USA 15K Championship and a Disturbing Accident Witnessed

After having a couple of weeks of good running, and successfully completing a 10 mile run last weekend at a 9:17 min/mile--I decide to take on this fast 15k in an atttempt to do well. I wanted to do the race in a 9:20 min/mile, and I needed a finish time pf 1:25:12. That was what I predicted, and I had Garmin in hand to undertake this endeavor.
My dear husband offered to run with me, and to tell you the truth, I was hesitant to accept. I knew I would be slowing him down, but then again I realized he may be the "pull" I needed to achieve my goal. I ended up accepting his offer, and I left the Garmin in the truck.
We got to the venue and marvelled at how many people were there. My third year racing this course, and it grows more every year...over 12000 finishers. The weather was cool, and there was complete cloud cover. We met with our running buddies, took photographs, and took our place in the 9:00 mile corral. Guess what? There was a section for walkers. Think the walkers occupied that section? Hell no! We still had to dodge walkers the first mile and a half. Now ask me about the first two miles--ha ha, WAY TOO FAST. We ran low eights, slowing down a bit for mile 3 and got to the 5k mark just sub-26 (27:07) (our chip versus gun time). I got on his case after beaming heavy hateful wife eye rays into the middle of his back. I got a rock in my shoe, and I had to stop briefly and empty out my shoe. I was doing "o.k." until mile 6. I just started feeling the gag reflex and nausea coming on. I really didn't eat well before the race, but I don't know if that had anything to do with it.
Then we saw something terrible. A young girl, at the water station, had somehow drifted past the safety cones--and right into oncoming traffic. Bob was ten feet away, she was five, and the impact of Bob turning around in horror to see what was happening...I hear myself shouting, "Jesus Christ!"...the girl collided with the car. She was struck in the shoulder and hip, and the impact penetrated my iPod...and the look of terror on her face...and the shards of car pieces striking my shins...

Someone came quickly and helped guide her to safety. I hope dearly she is ok tonight. Wherever you are, young lady, I know that hurt. I also know it had the propensity to be so much worse. The car behind the car in question may have collided, as people stalled and I heard a "crunch."
Bob is talking me up the GREEN MONSTER--the Hart bridge--slowest mile of the race to release into speed toward the finish. We barely passed the hot dog and mustard costume-wearing couple. A man falls in a "tuck and roll" right in front of Bob--he helps him up. We arrive at the finish: 1:25:44.

I am getting better. I am looking forward to the next few years. I want to do better.

OH! And the race result had me at 42 years old. WTF?