Where: Knoxville, Tennessee
Race Time: 01:55:36 – 29th in my age group (out of 238) and 494 overall (2430)
Weather: About 10 degrees above perfect. But I promise I’m not complaining. Spring has finally arrived in Knoxville and I’m welcoming the increased temperatures and sunny skies with open arms. Thankfully, I planned adequately and wore my favorite shorty shorts and a tech tee which was adequate enough to keep me cool when things got toasty.
Worst Mile: Mile 2. Weird, yes. I think I started off a bit too fast and my calves were on fire. My left shoe was too tight and my foot started getting tingly so I had to stop and re-tie. After I got the blood flowing back in my tootsies, and my legs got warmed up, I was good to go.
Best Mile: One in particular isn’t sticking out, so I checked out my splits to see what was actually my “best mile” time-wise. Turns out mile 9 is the winner. I averaged a pace of 8:07 – probably because it was the flattest part of the race.
Fuel: Traditional banana/Powerbar combo with some coffee on the drive there, assorted gatorade during and around mile 10 I slurped down a Vanilla Gatorade Gel. Not bad, but I still like the GU kind better – which I happily snatched up about a half mile later from a sweet volunteer. I’ll put that sucker to good use during my next race.
How did I feel: Good. Not my best but not my worst either. Around mile 12 I really had to fight the urge to stop and walk. I felt more fatigued then I usually do during my races and I think that can be attributed to the amount of climbs throughout the course.
Best part of the race (besides the finish): Having the race in Knoxville. I couldn’t have asked for better weather and to be able to run around my old alma mater, and finish on the 50 yard line of my beloved Neyland Stadium was really awesome.
Weirdest thing I saw: A dude talking on his cell phone, you know, while running. Just having a the standard convo one has while running a race. No big deal.
Final Thoughts: Great race, if you’re up for a difficult one. If you’re looking for an easy run, this may not be the best one for you (but this one might). The volunteer stations were plentiful and well stocked with both water and gatorade. The enthusiasm from the spectators was a wonderful welcome early in the morning, and I had no problem finding free parking 15 minutes before the race started (punctuality is not my forte). They mayor showed up to wish us all off, and the scenery was great. A fun, yet challenging race.
I’d also like to make a shout out to the amazing artist that designed the signs throughout Sequoia Hills. ‘Naked Cheerleaders in half a mile” with the bra hanging from an overhanging tree? Brilliant. The “Naked Cheerleaders are on break” sign half a mile down the road, even more brilliant. Cheers to you.
Also, I may or may not have run a 5k Saturday morning…more about that next post.
Hilly races, yay or nay?