Aggieville St. Pat's Day Races Report (2 Mile & 10k)

What a day these races were! This is a very awesome event, so I was happy to be back. I ran it in 2011, missed 2012 when I decided to do a marathon in Lincoln, but decided to come back this year. This is a great event for me for a couple reason. First, it is in Manhattan, KS, one of my favorite cities in the world! It's kind of small, but I like it that way, and it is home to the great Kansas State University. Unfortunately, I had so much fun living there that I was only at the school for 3 years, but living there is such a great memory for me. I would happily move back to Manhattan in a heart beat given the chance! Also, how many events can I run a 2 mile race, rest for 30 minutes, then run a 10k race and all for the lowly price of $25?!?!

I was signed up for the 2 mile & 10k and my wife, Kristy was signed up for the 10k. This has been a target even for me this year. I've been training all year to get stronger and faster, so a chance to throw down race-effort 2 miles and 10ks met with my goals. It was a relatively cold morning, low 40's with a cold 12-15 mph wind out of the north. Not horrible, but I knew my inhaler would be getting a workout! Kristy & I got there fairly early expecting long lines at race-day packet pickup, but we got there so early there were no lines. I got my shirt & my two bibs (#1024 for the 2 Mile & #1023 for the 10k). Once we got our bibs, we went and sat in the car for a bit since it was cold out.

The 2 Mile was set to start at 10:00, so a little before I got out there and lined up toward the front. I had a few different goals for the day. First, PR both races. My 2 Mile PR was 15:09 from this event in '11 and my 10k PR was 55:03 from the Lenexa Freedom Run 10k in '11. My other goal was sub-15 min for the 2 mile & sub-51 min for the 10k. In 2011 I had come in 5th in my age group in the 2 Mile, so it would be nice to medal again as well, but hitting my goal time would easily accomplish that. The gun went off and we were running. I felt like I was at a dead sprint! I flew through my first mile fairly easily, but started to really feel it in my second mile. I didn't lose much time, but my pace was inconsistant. I came huffing across the finish line and my Garmin said 14:46.

Me & my friend Katie before the 10k
They had computers by the finish line that you could look up your place in your age group, but when I entered my bib number I only got my name. The RD was right there, so I grabbed him and asked about it. He checked the backup data and found my results, he had them at 14:37 (7:17 avg pace)! That put me in 3rd place in my age group and a massive new PR! After that I found my friend Katie & her husband Brandon. Katie was running the 10k, shooting for a PR, and Brandon was going to run his first "official" (race) 10k. They are great people & getting to know them has been a nice benefit of this blog (I met Katie after she read my report from the Pilgrim Pacer Marathon in 2011 where she had run her first 1/2). Katie also had her boss there (whom she described as "super-fast") to be her pacer to help get her to a 51 min finish.

The race started and off we went! My lungs were on fire with the cold air and such a max effort in the 2 Mile, so within the first 1/4 mile I was kind of struggling. I decided rather than hanging with Katie & her pacer, I would drop back a little and let my body settle in, then if I felt good I'd try to catch back up. I really didn't think my body could hold that effort for the full race. As we ran through campus I was starting to settle in, but then we turned onto Denison Ave. This was the stretch that nearly killed me! 1 1/3 miles directly into that cold, strong wind with lungs already on fire. I was struggling bad. I lost a ton of time just trying to make it to the turn around. Katie was doing awesome, I saw her and her pacer as they were headed back having made the turn long before me.

Once I finally made the turn I felt a little better. I could breathe a little easier without that wind hitting me in the face. I made a decent amount of time back heading back down Denison and back through campus. Once we got through the park, it was just one short stretch to the finish line. I wanted to sprint to the finish since I knew several people were coming to pass me, but my body just didn't have anythink left. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't make my legs move faster. I may not have finished as strong as I'd like and I may have missed my 51 min goal, but I was proud to have PR'ed with a 53:54. Kristy had her second fastest 10k ever, Katie finished around 50:30, so she beat her goal, Brandon finished a few minutes behind me with a 59 & change, beating his goal!

My medal for placing 3rd in my age group
After the races were over and everyone was heading their own way, I went over to the awards ceremony since I had placed 3rd in my age group in the 2 Mile. I met a nice lady while I waited who owns a floral shop in downtown Manhattan and she had placed 4th in her age group. As they went through the awards I was getting excited. This was only my 4th time getting an award and the first time that the race had an actual podium! Yes, I made it onto a podium at a race! How cool is that?? I got my award, a very nice medal, then Kristy and I went to the car and changed out of our running clothes so we could warm up. We went over to the Rock-a-belly Deli for lunch, but with the St. Pat's parade that day all of Aggieville was packed and there was no way we would be getting a table.

We decided to leave and go to the Little Apple Brewing Co. instead. The day's special was a Memphis pulled pork sandwich. That was probably the greatest sandwich I'de ever eaten! It was so tender I barely had to chew, the meat practically melted in my mouth! I also enjoyed a Bison Brown Ale.Kristy had a wrap of some sort. It was an EXCELLENT lunch! After that we headed over to the Manhattan Running Company. They had taken over directing the race this year and did an outstanding job, they also have a wonderful store. We bought a couple shirts, then headed back over to Aggieville to shop for some new K-State gear. It was an excellent day. I reached my goal of two new PRs, broke my goal in the 2 Mile, came close to my goal in the 10k, got a 3rd place award, had an amazing lunch with my wonderful wife, got to see some good friends, got some new K-State gear. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday!

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