Thought for the Day

Monday, March 1, 2004

Run to Sun/Dog Jog/Diamond Run Report

Run to the Sun, Climb to Conquer Cancer 5.5 mile hill climb

So it was nothing our Canadian associates would call cold. It was still cold enough for me to be shivering in my hat, gloves, long- sleeved shirt, vest, and tights. It was probably in the 30s or 40s before the start around 6:30. The glow of dawn was just starting to lighten the sky. The mountain was just a silhouette above us. The race is entirely on a blacktop park road. Dobbins Point is at 1200 feet, but we weren't starting at sea level. Someone said that it was a thousand foot climb, but that may have just been a round number
estimate.
I jogged back and forth to stay warm, then lined up a few rows back from the front before the start. In the early going, I was close to the front, too close, I thought, so I eased up. The first mile and a half are rolling hills, ups and downs, inclines and declines of 20 to 100 yards, not amounting to much increase in elevation.
I got a split at a roadside marker at 1.5 miles: 11:15, a 7:30 mile pace.
The hill starts in earnest after that, and with the sun now up, you could see it coming from a long way off, a diagonal slash across the face of the mountain. That long, gradual rise continues for about two miles.

2.0 3:55 15:10
2.5 4:21 19:30
(combined for an 8:16 mile)
3.5 8:38 28:08

I had planned not to let anyone pass me after the three mile mark. My weakness in several races has been to go fast at the start, lose focus in the middle of a race, and finish strong. I thought if I focused on the middle of the race, the start and finish would take care of themselves.

4.5 8:49 36:57

In that mile from 3 and a half to 4 and a half miles, there is one long, steep climb, a curve around a corner where it levels off a little, then another long, steep climb.
I was gaining on one runner ahead of me, but someone caught up with me from behind. I hung with him for a while. We both continued to gain on that runner ahead, but after 30 yards I let him go. I kept him close enough so that I had a hope of catching him at the end.
The last mile is lots of up and down again until you get to the final steep climb of about 150 yards. I closed on the runner who had passed me, and he closed on the runner ahead of him, but once we hit that final incline we were in the positions we would finish with.

5.5 8:24 45:21

The runner ahead of me was a 40 year old who took 3rd in our age division. I took 4th, 14th over all out of 110 finishers.
I felt I had a pretty good race, and the view of Phoenix from the top is worth the trip.

Dog and Jog Furry Fun Run 2K

The organizers of the Run to the Sun had told us that we would be able to get a bus ride down from the top, and I was counting on that to be able to make it to Papago Park by 9 am for the next race. After waiting for a long time, though, I had to decide if it would be wiser to wait for a bus or to just run down myself.
I ran down and got to the parking lot in time to see the first bus starting up to the top. It was already too late for me to make it in time to run the Dog and Jog, but I did get there in time to seem my wife, Sue, finish with my bitch, Penny. They had a good time. Penny enjoyed it more than Sue, who got pulled down by Penny and bruised her elbow.
So I missed competing in that one. From the times I heard, it's pretty likely that Penny could have gotten a medal if I had been able to take her.

Diamond Run, 44 Home Runs, 3 mile run

This race was scheduled to start at 5 pm, but was delayed for about 20 minutes, apparently waiting for all of the gates at the Peoria Sports Complex to be opened and for all of the race volunteers to get in position. As it turned out, the wind, which had been blowing hard, started to die down, so it worked out.
This was partly through a parking lot, but mostly on the warning tracks of the seven baseball fields where the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners hold their Spring Training. It was a little like a track race, in the fact that it was absolutely flat, the surface we were running on was mostly red grit, and a lot of the time you could look across a field and see your competition.
I wasn't sure how I would run, so I just pushed hard the whole way.
There were no mile markers, so I got no splits. I ran most of the race a few steps behind a guy who looked to be about my age. I finally passed him probably in the early part of the third mile.
I ran a 20:42.
That's a 6:54 mile pace or 28 seconds per home run.
I've had a better time in a 5K, and I'm sure I could have done better if I hadn't run up a mountain that morning, but what I did was good enough for 15th overall and 3rd in my age group.
I got a souvenir baseball that says, "2004 Diamond Run Winner." Pretty cool.

So I had a busy weekend. I didn't do the MBA 5K that I was thinking about doing on Sunday. I had really decided to run those three races on Saturday because they were all unique. The race on Sunday wasn't that special to me.
Hope the rest of you had a great weekend.

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