last year (or, more properly, in january of this year) i ran the norfolk pub 10 miler for the first time. it had been on my list of races to run for quite a while, but always conflicted with a nyrr 15k race scheduled for that same saturday morning in december. well thanks to an early snowstorm that rearranged many a december 2008 race date, the norfolk pub 10 miler was moved back to january - and became very doable!
on the rescheduled date, the course was covered in snow and ice - and learned from the sign posts that the town's motto is "the icebox of connecticut!" my 1:20 finish was nothing to write home about - but i was more than pleased to have survived the hilly course because the post-race festivities included beer at the local tavern! there was no way i'd miss a return trip - especially with the prospect of drier course conditions (but mainly for another pint of beer)!
as emmy, rob, and i drove up to the race this weekend, a snowstorm raced up the east coast. luckily, we missed the arrival of the storm - but arrive it did late that afternoon. we ourselves almost missed the start of the race! rob had pre-registered, but emmy and i hadn't. i was the third to last, and emmy was the last, person to register that morning! we went straight from the registration table to the starting line - no warm up, no preliminaries!
i took my ipod with me and had it loaded with tom petty's "live anthology." my plan was to treat it as a hard training run, looking to finish in the same 1:20 i did it in last time. as the running gods often do, they can change plans mid-course. the first two miles of the course are basically uphill - a preview of the really tough hill waiting in (all of) mile 8! my two mile split had been just under 17 minutes (16:54) minutes for the 2008 edition. when i hit two miles in 15:48, i was a bit surprised!
but it was good surprise - and i decided to keep plugging away at that paced until the climb in mile 8. here are the splits:
during mile 5 i got caught up chasing - and being chased - by a couple of runners. i wound up running much faster than planned! after mile 8, the course makes a sharp right and retraces the first 2 miles back to the start/finish. the 6:50 in mile 9 reflected the sharp downhill, while the 7:29 last mile reflected the few steps i walked to crest the very last hill! once we crossed the finish line we each were given candy canes!
emmy and rob were right behind me in 1:17 - emmy was the 4th woman finisher! we made a beeline for the pub (with a quick stop to change into dry clothes). it turned out that i finished 3rd in my age group (same as last year) - and won a pez dispenser! but the beer was more than good enough for the effort!
will definitely be back for another go in 2010!
here are some race photos.