The name of this race is "Will Run For Beer," it even says so on the shirt. :)
Looking at the weather, I was a bit nervous as it looked like cold and rainy. If I hadn't arranged to go to the race with a friend, I might have blown it off. Instead, Tom pulled up and off we went to the wilds of Hampton, NH.
The race director had sent out a few emails telling people to show up early or you'd have to park a 1/2 mile from the finish line. What he didn't say was the finish line was almost a mile away from the start line. So before the race even started, you logged over a mile!
We got there at 9:30 for an 11:00 race and ended up in the far parking lot.. Fortunately, another friend got there early enough that she was parked near the finish line so we could sit in her warm car until it was time to walk to the start.
And walk we did. It was close to a 20 minute walk to the start and the crowd was huge. It took a minute and a half before I crossed the start line and fortunately people were running almost as soon as you crossed the start line. The first stretch was uphill and all I could see were a group of dotted colors of the runners. There was a see of safety yellow, bright orange, neon green and other colors all tightly packed up ahead of me.
This was a race over country road that looked like New Hampshire. There was even a covered bridge on the course. The first mile was mostly uphill. The mist that was falling would turn to rain at times and then back to mist. As I turned the corner and saw the first mile marker, I also saw a group of people holding "Go Runners!" signs and ringing cowbells. It made me smile because, while running in the rain can be pleasant, standing in it to cheer on runners is really special.
Running over the covered bridge I came up the hill and saw a couple of black llamas. That's right, a couple of llamas hanging out in a field next to a barn. My delight at the llamas quickly faded when we all caught the smell of the llamas and farm. Yep, there's a reason I live in the city and wet llama makes a wet dog smell good!
Mile 2 came up and I was still under a 13 minute pace. While the time had creeped up from just over 12 minutes/mile, it was still comfortably under 13. Here the course took a downhill turn and began to fold back on itself. It wasn't long before I passed the start gate and knew I was .8 miles from the finish. At this point I was feeling a bit winded. In the distance I saw people turning to the left and knew I was pretty much done. I crossed at the 42:10 mark on the clock but figured about 1:26 off that for the start. My final time was 40:17 for a 13:00 minute even pace.
I met up with my friends and we decided the beer line was too long, so we went out for ice cream instead. :)
Right now I feel pretty badass considering ran 2.1 in the rain and NH roadways.