I had to really think about whether or not to run Cotton Row this year. I wanted to because I love this race. I love competing in my own city with people from all over. I sort of feel like we are showing off our city for them. Many local people run this race as their first 10K, and I love hearing about their experiences with their first 10K after the race. My team, the Fleet Feet Racing Team, always wears our new uniforms for Cotton Row. It is exciting seeing all of my teammates out on the course, since most of us try to run it (which is not the case with the smaller races). This year, we all have the word "Huntsville" going down our backs. Even more reason to love racing in Cotton Row--representing my city! And, of course, I think it is a wonderful way to get together and celebrate Memorial Day. There are songs, speeches, and prayers at the beginning of each race that really bring home the meaning of Memorial Day to the crowds.
I didn't want to do Cotton Row because my right shin has been bothering me. It was just a little sore, but I didn't want to overdo anything six days before the marathon (Minneapolis Marathon June 3). Rick said he only felt comfortable racing a 5K that close, and it made me second guess my choice too. I figured I should have a goal race, and they both couldn't be goal races. Also, I had taken three days off from running and was just not sure if I had a fast 10K in me. I decided to give it a try and hoped I wouldn't regret it.
I am really wishing I could say that I got the PR I wanted, but I did not. My miles (according to my watch) were 6:14, 6:47, 7:09, 7:02, 6:28, and 8:01 (for 1.2 miles). My official finish time was 41:41, putting me 1st in my age group after the top ten women were pulled out, and I was 14th woman overall (I was seeded 17th). We had a deep field for this race--much deeper than last year--so I was pleased to still finish pretty high up there.
Miles 3 and 4 have a big hill called Mountainwood in them (you hit Mile 3 on the hill). That is why they are slower times. I am really pleased that I was able to bring Mile 5 back down to a 6:28. It shows that I was still trying to stay in the race. I think this is a PR for this race for me, and it is better than my time last year.
|Mile 5--seeing my family and friend!|
|The kids cheering with their preschool director, Ms. Rosemary|
The embarrassing part of this race for me was at the end. I was sprinting to the finish, and I heard the crowd just erupt with applause. I thought, "Wow, all for me?" like maybe they could see how hard I was trying. No. It was for the three men that passed me in the last few yards to the finish! In the picture below, you can see one of the men has just passed me and another (okay, so it was a 10 year old boy and not a man!!!) is about to pass me. Not the best way to finish a race!
|Photo by James Hurley|
After the 10K, Rick did the 5K and the kids did the 1 mile with us. Rick was 6th overall in the 5K with a time of 18:38. In the mile, our son broke 10 minutes for the first time (9:45 or so--ran with Rick), and our daughter got 11:47. It was another fun morning for the entire family!
|Rick (center) and Marty Clark in the 5K|
I shared my medal with my daughter. She loved wearing it!
One last picture. Local running "superstar" Josh Whitehead (left) and Jamie Burnam are below. Josh is a really nice, modest guy who wins most of our local races. He always finishes with a smile and says, "That was fun!" when he is done. Today, I got into a conversation with him about his American flag shorts. He had changed into them after running the 10K and before he won the 5K event. He proudly noted they were even "Made in the USA!" I thought they were a great choice for today! Congrats, Josh, and all of the runners who finished today!
|Josh and Jamie|