What: Stony Creek “Back To The Beach” Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K
When: Sunday May 18th 2014
Price: $35 for the 10K
Temp: 45-55 degrees and mostly sunny
The 4th annual Stony Creek Back to the Beach is one of the more popular races in the area. The GF and I had talked about doing it last year but the 5 and 10K races didn’t offer a medal and well…. you know …what’s the point then lol. This year, on the other hand, they have decided to jump on board the “everyone gets a medal” craze that has been sweeping the area so this went from a “maybe” to a “must do”.
Funny story: the GF and I always register for races at the same time… HOWEVER… for whatever reason (maybe we were having a fight or something) I learned she had registered for the Half through a post on Facebook. I was like “wtf, how dare she register without me” and it was for the Half even, just to spite me (I’ve never run a half)… so I was like “fuck it, Ill register for the Half too… that’ll teach her!” Teach her what? I don’t know but it sounded good at the time. So I clicked on the registration link and started filling out the forms when it occurred to me… this may not be the smartest idea …after all I wasn’t running outside of registered races, I’ve never run more than 7 miles, and it was a trail race to boot. I’m only torturing myself here. So I quickly changed it to the 10K where I was more comfortable.
In the past few months since I had registered, I’ve been running more and more so when race day came I was in much better condition than I had assumed I would. We arrived to the race around 7am. Met up with some fellow SEMR members before the race for some chit-chat. Then I saw the GF off to her starting corral.
After the Half started, they sent the 5K so I had a good half hr before my race so I went back to the car to warm up. I stuck with my running pants and a long sleeve shirt. I’m ok with my legs being warm and I can always push up the sleeves on my shirt, it was just too damn cold for mid-May. Race time, they began lining people up by pace and then broke us up into 2 waves to keep down the congestion.
I was near the front of the “slow wave” which was a good plan because I like being out front but I don’t like a lot of people passing me up.
The start was very informal. “Slow Joe” was just talking away and then just says “go” without a countdown, horn, or gun… no biggie it was just different than the “usual” race start.
We were off! I had a good start with everyone around me taking up the exact same pace as myself. It was very comfortable with good spacing and no having to work your way around the walkers… I may go as far as saying this was a “perfect start”. I felt good, and settled into an 11.5 m/m with the rest of the people around me.
The trails were somewhat narrow and I could see where it may be a problem for some of the faster people trying to pass on this course. I, however, was doing just fine keeping pace with my “people” …the slow runners… my middle-of-the-pack people. I didn’t pass much, and I didn’t get passed much either.
There were quite a few hills on the course and I made it a point to walk up them. My legs were feeling good, my breathing was fine, I didn’t want to push too hard and wear myself out. Who knows what my lie ahead around the next bend. Most everyone I was with did the same… oddly enough I was surrounded by girls for the entire race. There wasn’t another guy in sight… so either there weren’t too many guys doing the 10K or I was one of the slowest.
There were some breath taking views on this course like this one. The photo doesn’t do it justice but I tried my best to capture the awe of the sun shining through this row of perfectly aligned trees.
Around mile 3 I was still feeling great… even decided to take a selfie lol
There were over 300 volunteers that helped make this race a success …like this guy… making sure you went that-a-way. They also had plenty of water stations set up. More then Ive seen at any other race which I thought was awesome! I had brought my own but I did stop at a few of the more interesting stations. One guy was yelling “SPEED WATER, GET YOUR SPEED WATER RIGHT HERE”… I passed up 3 people handing out water and was like “woah, no way man I’m going for the speed water”. The guy was all pumped and I got a good laugh and you know what… that water worked!
The last 2 miles took you up one side of a path to an aid station (with oranges!) and then back down the other side of the same path. It was kinda strange because there was a guy to stop you and turn you around to head back. While at the same time the Half runners were coming from behind the “turn point” to meet up with the 10K runners. They did a good job of catching people but I could help but wonder if someone accidentally got by… how long before someone caught them and got them turned around lol.
In the home stretch I was feeling great! I love trail running it seems. The dirt is SO much easier on my feet and shins I didn’t get the normal pains that tend to slow me up. I hardly slowed at all the whole race with the exception of the hills. When I was about 1/4 of a mile from the finish I felt good enough to speed up considerably. I left the people whom I spent most of the race in the dust. Once the finish line was in sight I broke into a full on sprint. A girl passed me with only moments to go and I was like “oh HELLL no” and gave it everything I had and gained my position back just feet before the finish!
As I crossed the finish line I thought to myself “dammit I shoulda did the Half” lol. I had so much energy left and wasn’t the slightest bit tired or sore. This race has got to be one of the “best feeling” races I’ve ever had! I collected my medal, got my goodies, and waited for the GF to finish. Next year, I am definitely doing the Half!
Time – 1:11:41
Pace -11:34 m/m
Overall place 176/298
Age group place 11/13
And as always you can view my race on Nike+