Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kittanning 10k and Mangler Marking

    This was one of those mornings that I felt like staying in bed.   It was cold with a light on and off rain.   No motivation to run but like a trooper I went out.   Mostly because I had already paid.  I guess that is motivation. 
     I arrived there early and got my shirt & bib.   I looked around and did not see anyone I know, so I headed to the car.  I listened to southern bible thumping music, aka southern gospel, on some low frequence station.  It was not bad, a lot of four part harmony.  As I sat, I noticed a lot of non runner types, maybe I could win for once.
    The start of the race was two distances, a 5k and 10k.  I had no idea who I was racing against.  When it started I held back. Normally I try to get to the front and then I get tired.  I saw some guys that looked faster than me and tried to stay behind them.
     A little boy was ahead of me.  He would run fast, stop, walk, and repeat.  With in the first mile I was passing him.  I yelled for him to keep running.  I was still behind the pack of fast runners, when the guy in the back said, "He's not going to make it like that, Sir".   I said, "you don't need to call me sir. You're older than me, I think.".  Then I asked him what race he was doing and where the 5k ended.  He told me they all were in the 5k, so I soon bolted in front of them, passing the first water stop, and someone yelled, "good luck".
     I am so used to running a  5k that it was weird not seeing people coming back already.  It was not until mile 2.7 or 2.8 that I saw the leaders.   The person in front of me was a dot and the folks behind me were not very close.   The turn around doubled as the second water stop.  I grabbed and kept going.  I tried keeping up my pace but I kept turning around to see if anyone was closing in on me.  I told runners their position as I passed them.  A good way to keep a count.
     Closing in on the last mile I started upon the last of the 5kers.  First was a little boy and his dad.  When I raced by I said, "Good job little guy".  As I was going away I heard this dad ask him "What do you say" and he said "Thank you."  Then I got to the "We have to walk four across" walkers, the type that does not move out of the way and looks shocked and scared as you fly by them.
     I only had a few more tenths of a mile when I passed two ladies, just as I go by they turn and look at me, one of them says, "nice", the other laughs.  I couldn't help but feel creeped out.  The end was in sight when I passed two kids, a boy and girl.  I said to them, "The end is near, run, go!".  The girl shook her head no.  The boy asked her, "Do you want to race?"   They started running.  I and a small crowd at the finish line cheered them on.  The rest of the 5kers were in the shelter awaiting results. 
     148 people in the 5k, 19 in the 10k.  This was a fun race, well organized.   The YMCA races always are.  I have done four YMCA races at three different locations.  (Wilmerdin, Kittanning, and New Castle)  I think the YMCA must have a secret play book for putting on races.
     My official time was 45:40.  5th overall, 4th male overall, 1st in age group, which means I got a medal! So quick recap:   Flat course, well organized, fun... Yes Sir, I will be back!
A welcome surprize, Tech shirt!
 
       After the race I headed home and stopped at a Wendys.  I was in running clothes, including shorts.  I ordered one of this, one of that, and kept on going.  I ate quickly. I needed to get to North Park and the people behind me would not shut up about me.  Yes, I can hear you and maybe if you got off your couch you too could be thin and wearing running clothes.
        In North Park I found two of Sara's trail friends, Mike & Michelle, cooking for their race the next morning.  I had volunteered to come and help them with whatever they needed.  I was to mark part of the course for the race.  I got a map, some flags, and my marching orders.
       I drove to the front of the park and met up with a guy named TJ.  He and I were to mark the last 7 miles of trail.  After a quick introduction we were off.  It should be noted that he had heard of me.  He knew someone that I knew in the past.  How weird is that? 
       On the trail I saw deer, mountain bikers, hikers, dog walkers, more deer.  The trail was getting a lot of use with the warm weather.  At one point I looked back down the hill and saw something.  I said, "We are being followed. I just something running up the trail!".  TJ laughed, then he saw it.  It was a coyote.  I yelled, "There it is!" and it ran off.   I have never seen one of those before.   I thought they were only in the deep woods and mountains. 

 Can you spot the deer?
 
    We finished the trail marking and headed back to the ice skating rink, aka the start.  Mike and two helpers were trying to put up a banner.  The three of them were hanging out windows from the second floor.  First the string broke.  Then the second try with ratching straps broke one of the gromits.  I was looking for a way to hang it up there when I noticed screws sticking out about 8 feet up.  I flipped over a metal trash can when TJ and Mike came outside.  I told them my idea and said that it would at least work for now.  I climbed up and slid the gromit over the screw.  A few move screwed lined up with the holes, when Mike remembered he had brought a staple gun!  So much easier.
     I told Mike that I would be back in the morning and that I might run in the 8k.  They had an 8k, 25k, and 50k! I went home, pigged out, and then passed out at 7:30.  Unfortunely I forgot to set an alarm.  Without Sara and the girls to wake me, I slept for 12 hours. :o)

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