2012 Mardi Gras 10k

i raced this course last year, and since it is held at a local brewery (Terrapin Brewery), i decided to come back and race again. it fits very well in my early-season schedule, is not a 5k, and i won last year (2011 Mardi Gras 10k results), so i wanted to try and defend my title.

i found out the day before that it was a NOON start as opposed to the typical early morning start, and since i had to work that day, i was unsure that i would be able to race. luckily my shifts as a prep cook are pretty flexible (thanks to mike bradshaw – owner of the grill!), so i was able to get most of my work done before i had to head to the race. since the brewery is only a mile and a half or so from work, i rode my bike to the race. this let me stretch my legs a bit and not have to worry about parking.

when i got to the brewery, i checked in, got my number, and talked to mark and david of (Athens Running Company) for a bit. they more-or-less ‘sponsor’ me as i run in their gear and they give me a pretty sizable discount on said gear. works for me. and them. while changing and warming up, i spied the competition and tried to pick out who i would have to battle. i saw a couple of guys that looked like they might challenge (including one in an Atlanta Track Club singlet) and a couple of others. after racing for a few years and seeing familiar faces, i am usually pretty good about picking out who can run.

the race was running a few minutes late, so there was a few extra minutes to warm up a bit. the temperature was good, especially with the cloud cover (we had cool rain last year), so this was just to stretch out a bit. i lined up at the front as usual and WENT as ‘start’ was called. i immediately jumped behind the athens-clarke police department motorcycle escort and got up to speed pretty quickly. i already sensed that there was no one with me. i kept the gas on as much as i felt i had to, but with no one to run with (i peaked around a few times during the race), it was just a time trial for me. i kept it well within my comfort zone while still knocking out some quality miles. i finished in first and immediately went back out on the course to cheer some of the other runners on. i did not know any of the other racers this year personally, so i could just yell the generic ‘go runner!’ greetings. the second place finisher came up to me and we chatted a bit.

i stuck around to cheer on the runners as long as i could, but i had to get back to work. like last year (and i feel like a jerk for having to do it), i had to leave before the awards were given out. sorry, guys!

i want to thank any and all associated with the race (ESPECIALLY the volunteers), terrapin brewery (thanks for the hospitality – and the free beer i had to miss out on!), the city of athens-clarke county, athens running company, brooks running company (i raced in the pure connect this time), and my bo$$ for continuing to let me pursue my dream/passion.

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my data file from the race including a map

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2012 Race Calendar – pending

2012 RACE CALENDAR
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2/18 – Taste 10k** – Athens, Georgia (r)

2/25 – Cowtown 10k** – Fort Worth, Texas (r)

2/26 – Cowtown 50k** – Fort Worth, Texas (r)

3/3 – Nueces 50M**^ – Rocksprings, Texas (t)

4/16 – Boston Marathon** – Boston, Massachusetts (r)

4/21 – National College Blue Ridge Marathon** – Roanoke, Virginia (r)

9/7 – Wasatch 100M* – Salt Lake City, Utah (t)

** – registered
* – applied
^ – national championship
r – road
t – trail

Rock/Creek Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race – Raccoon Mountain (Stage 1)

Just a quick note – not a full race report. That comes later.

Good weather for a run. Well, for mid-June, at least. After saying ‘hi’ to a few familiar faces and rubbing elbows with a few new ones (and seeing a famous runner – Annette Bednosky!), we gathered near the start for a few announcements and such then headed out. I did not go out as hard as I usually do, so combined with little breathing room and a quick turn onto the single-track, I was behind more guys than I wanted. I stayed with this small group for almost two (2) miles before I surged a bit and got separation. From there I just continued to run my own race until Trapper Presslar came flying up after the second aid station at Mile 8. We ran a good chunk of the rest of the race together trading pulls until he could not stay with me on a series of climbs. A Rock/Creek runner (Kevin Boucher, maybe?) flew by me on a downhill section with about six (6) miles to go and just kept going. I was alone until the last couple of miles when I could see a guy about a minute up the trail. I went after him and just about caught him but ran out of real estate finishing ~8 seconds back in 13th for a 2:21 first day. Ate and drank a bit. While sitting on the curb, a guy said ‘hey’ and sat near me. ‘It is Mark.’ ‘Ok.’ Then I realised that it was Mark Hekman! He used to race for the Mountain Khakis Pro Cycling Team with Adam Myerson, so I knew who he was from running into him at a few races. We chatted for a bit. After giving up the fame and fortune that comes with being a pro crit racer, he turned to running as a new challenge. He picked a heck of a race to start out with! I packed up the moto to seek out a shower and food and here I am…

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