Friday, November 26, 2010

Dash for Drew

I ran. In a race. Frequent readers of the Fish Blog will remember my friend Randy Taylor who lost his son in a horrible car crash. Out of that tragedy, he and his wife Marcie created the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation. Through the Foundation, they have created a regional resource for people grieving the loss of loved ones, as well as providing athletic activities for underpriveleged youth. Pretty amazing stuff.

The Foundation also sponsors a race, the Dash for Drew. It's held every year to raise money for the Foundation. This year I went down with my two friends, Carl and Justin. My goal was to race the 2 miles in less than 20 minutes, a pretty solid goal given my recent practice performance and the fact that it is held on a cross-country course. We got there about an hour early, which is surprising since none of us knew exactly where we were going, a fact I learned as Carl drove south toward the race. Thank God for mobile phone apps and the power of Teh Inatrwebz (and like that).

Sign-in was effortless, then Justin went for a run while Carl and I went for a jog. We ended up doing a one-mile light jog around the track. It felt good and I stretched at the end of the jog. I felt nice and loose as the race approached. I pulled the laces tight and got up to the start area. The horn sounded and off we went.

I started in the middle-back of the pack, not comfortable to run with the rabbits, including Carl and Justin. That being said, I felt really good as the race started and began stretching it out a bit very shortly into the run. There was a small hill about a half-mile in, and I started powering up and forward. I still felt good. Coming down the trail, it narrowed and I settled in to a comfortable pace with some guys my own age. We came up on the first mile and the guy was belting out the current times: 9:07, 9:08, 9:09, 9:10... I had gone out fast, but I still felt good. I pushed passed the guys I was with and felt my lungs reach their limits.

It's not a bad thing, that feeling. I felt like it was sustainable pace with a mile to go. I decided to try to hold that faster pace through the end. The race comes out through the forest and back to a loop outside the track. I measured the track and the distance left to go and notched it up a half a beat. When I hit the track, I busted into a full (for me) sprint and finished strong.

All-in-all, it felt fantastic. I still felt I had more left at the end, but my time was 17:10, which is waaaaay faster than I anticipated.I was 24 out of 38 in my age group and 94 out of 178 overall. I can't wait to do it again next year!

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