Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 1,630: Father's Day 4-miler

I'm not sure why I have a sluggish response to race days. This morning I really didn't want to get up and was thinking that I could have used the extra time in bed.

But I ambled out of my place and drove down to Turner Field to participate in the Atlanta Track Club's Father's Day 4-Miler. It's the first time I ran in the race.

I don't think I've ever run in a four-mile race before, even after 22 years of running. I've run a 6K (3.6 miles) and an 8K (4.8 miles) but no distance in between.

When I checked in for the race, I was given a bib and a D-Tag chip timer, which was nice.

About 15 minutes later, the race started on Hank Aaron Drive really without warning - you could just see all the heads in front of you leaving.

The start was extremely crowded. I made my way around lots of people and thought this was a pretty slow start. No matter, since when am I ever going to use the results of a four-mile race for anything? So I was surprised after the race when I saw my first mile was 7:40.

After the first turn onto Fulton Street, it goes downhill pretty quickly. Like many other races I had people flying by me, only to get passed on the hills later on. But pretty quickly, the hill starts going up and I had really good acceleration on this hill.

The rest of the way I basically settled into a good pace. I'd run around Grant Park before but was unsure of how the course went. I think familiarity with a course is a big advantage in how well you'll do.

Case in point when we turned from Georgia Avenue to Hank Aaron Drive along the side of the stadium. Unsure of exactly how far the run would be inside the stadium, I waited until just before we entered the outfield. I know now that I should have started to kick maybe as soon as we turned onto Hank Aaron.

That's because the final bit after turning onto the outfield was extremely short. Instead of ending at home plate as the race description advertised, the finish really was just a little past first base.

No matter, it still was a really fun race that I look forward to participating in again!

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 71 degrees (humid)
Gear: Tech T, short (Big Peach Sizzler 10K 2009), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 27.

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