My first race award!!!

Today was my "double header" in Manhattan, KS. It was a pretty cold morning, 44° at the start of the first run. In fact, it was so cold that I decided to keep my warm up pants and hooded sweatshirt on over my shorts and sleeveless Good Guys vs Bad Girls shirt. My wife & mother-in-law joined me on my trip out there, it's about a 2 hour drive from our house to the race. At first I intended the Aggieville St. Pat's 2 Mile Fun Run to be a nice, easy paced warm up run, but then last night I was looking at last year's results. The website said awards would go to the top 10 in each age group and last year 10th was 16:32.5, that's definitely doable, so I decided to run it hard and see if I could get in the top 10. It was a nice run starting in Aggieville, going around the park and back up into Aggieville. I started up front with the fast people so they could help me push my pace. They blew the horn and off we went. I tried not to look at my watch much, but I could tell I was flying compared to my normal runs where I concentrate on distance not speed. Well, 15:09.41 I was crossing the finish line seeing a shocked look on my mother-in-law's face! That's a 7:35/mile average! Not too shabby! Once the results were posted I was shown in 5th place!! I was going to receive my first award ever for a race!

About 30 minutes after finishing the 2 Mile it was time to go on my first 10k race, the Aggieville St. Pat's 10k. My target on this one was 9:00/ mile (56:00). I wanted to push for a faster time, but once I decided to push myself in the 2 mile I knew my legs would be more tired than normal so I backed off my goal. The course was very cool for someone that attended K-State for 3 years. it started and ended at the same places as the 2 Mile, but it went through campus, up Denison, back down past the Student Union, around the park and again ending in Aggieville. It was still the same temp out, but I had warmed up a lot in the early race and it wasn't supposed to rain for several more hours. I decided to keep the warm up pants but this time I ditched the sweatshirt. That was all well and good for most of the race, but from miles 2-3.5 it rained, go figure. It was a light rain, but DAMN it was cold!!! There are several hills (not steep ones, but long ones) all through campus, so most of the run was a lot of inclines and declines. I couldn't help but reflect as I ran through campus. When I was in school there I drank a lot. I mean A LOT. So I've walked through campus many times, I've stumbled through campus many times, and I believe I even crawled once or twice. But this was the first time I'd ever RUN there! Man, I've come a long way. As I passed my old dorm from my freshman year I looked over and chuckled a little, I was now an athlete rather than a drunk, running past Moore Hall rather than stumbling up to it. What a great feeling!! I struggled through during the rain, but most of the run I felt pretty good. Apparently I set a good target, my final time was 55:56.48, an average pace of 8:58, 2 seconds per mile faster than my target pace! Not bad after such an effort just a half hour earlier! I have not yet seen the rankings for the 10k yet, but I know I was nowhere near the top 10 in this one!

These were not only my first races in Manhattan, they were also my first races in my Vibram Five Finger Bikilas. GREATNESS!!! I felt strong and fast, I keep saying, you just can't help but feel fast in these things! Also, I felt like my ankles, knees, feet, ITB, etc were much stronger than I have been used to. And I've only had them for a little over a week, so I know they will be even greater as my body adjusts. I got tons of comments and questions about them from fellow runners. If you know me you know how I love to talk, so all the questions and comments were great!

Of course, whenever we are in Manhattan we HAVE to buy some new K-State gear! So I bought a new sleeveless running shirt and a great T-shirt. Unfortunately it started getting colder and raining harder and Kristy started to get a bad headache so we left for home. We had originally planned to stay to either go around town hitting up some of the old places and seeing some of the new places, or possibly even watching the parade. Well, the parade was cancelled anyway, so we'll just plan on waiting for warmer, sunnier weather and head out there again to hang out. Maybe even sneak in another KSU campus run!! Whenever I visit there I miss it. I really loved that town and I'm always reminded of all the reasons I prefer a smaller town like that to the 'burbs of Kansas City. Overall it was a fun morning. It was great to get my first 10k in an actual race format, but it was especially gratifying to finally win some type of award for a run other than just a finisher's medal. Don't get me wrong, I love getting finisher's medals, but finishing in the awards, even in a 2 mile race, reminds me that I really am a runner. Tomorrow I'm shooting for a little over 13 miles for a long run, but honestly my legs are a little sore, so we'll see how much I actually get.


  1. You stud!!! All that marathon strength is serving you well! Congrats! If you go thirteen tomorrow, my advice is SLOW (maybe being a little sore will MAKE that happen).


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