Perfect day for today's Thanksgiving Day run, finished well ahead of my < 23 goal in 22:22, but still finished well out of the pie range, since at least 6 M30-34 were faster.
Mostly, this race is a celebration of fun, running, and community in Fort Collins. The centerpiece is a great course right in the middle of Old Town Fort Collins, which heads uphill in a loop toward City Park and back down the classic, gradual downhill down Mountain Avenue. Proceeds go to the Food Bank, a worthy and well-run local charity (J has some friends that work there).
We had only done this race once before, a couple years ago, but vowed that any time we spent Thanksgiving in town we would certainly want to do this run. J lined up to run with her friend Nora, and her mom signed up to walk. I learned my lesson from the first time I did this run, and lined up near the front so as to avoid the maelstrom of ipods, strollers, and 5-wide groups of gapers that prevent smooth passage in the narrow starting area. A few rows from the front, I was happy to see a good group of friends and fellow runners all ready to go.
This was a solid 2 minutes off of my previous time, so I was quite happy with it. Still not close enough in the very competitive age group -- I would have had to run better than 5:02/mile to have won a pie -- but I look forward to future runs and improvement in this race.
Being a shorter run, I laced up my Brooks Green Silence shoes for this one. I've pretty much worn these shoes out, but have gotten a solid year of some speed work and a few races (half marathon and marathon) in them.
Meanwhile, J and Nora ran together, and I had told her that 10 min/mile was within her reach. Unfortunately, they got stuck farther back in the swarm of humanity, and said their first mile took an extra 3 minutes or so. After that, each mile was well into the 9's, and when I saw them in the last quarter mile, they dug deeper and sped up to the finish line. J's been getting up before sunrise several times a week for the last month and running with a friend, and it shows! Hope she keeps it up and keeps having fun. Finally, almost exactly at the hour mark, Debbie finished up with a fast walk, having met and talked with an out-of-towner visiting for Thanksgiving.
Overall, a fun morning at one of the funnest races of the year. Check it out!