The morning after, I’m sore, sleepy, and, as always, filled up with race day tales! The Portland Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler was a zoo of 1748 runners racing through the old port. The race itself wasn’t very well organized, this year or last. Most unpleasant were the three bathroom stalls for 856 female runners and the minimal availability of water. Still, it was important that I mark the one-year anniversary of my first race by repeating the event. The course winds twice around a loop, and anticipating the second round, particularly the long hilly section, is brutal. My aim was to see how far I’d come in a year, and I took 4:24 off my time, coming in with a 32:34, and placing 151st out of 856 women runners–15th out of 86 women in the 45-49 age group. Given the hills, I’m pleased with my 8:09 miles, though I continue to be amazed by what the gifted and practiced runners are capable of. As I look ahead, my aim, once my hips recovers, is to increase miles and do some speed and hill work; we’ll see if that takes my running to another level. In order to fully heal my hip, I’m going to attempt to stick to pool running for a few weeks.
I’ve included some pix of the Thanksgiving race (all taken by racer/photographer, Rick Chalmers), which tell another race day tale. Fortunately, I wasn’t lapped by the frontrunners, but after finishing the race, I learned that it was chaos as the lead runners caught up with the throngs in the middle. Note the images above, when the lead racer, in red, has to push people aside to get through. In the best races, someone is assigned to part the seas for the elites.
Maine’s Sheri Piers (in blue above) came in second overall for the women in the 4-miler, and I was reminded of a trip with friends to the 2012 Boston Marathon. Piers, at age 40, finished as the 10th woman overall and the top American in the famously heat scorched race that had many elite runners dropping like flies. It was inspiring to see Piers and other elite runners in action and to share the road in a local race.