Bloomsday with a fellow Hiprunner


The last few months have kept me very busy working with other committed volunteers to make sure that the Lilac Bloomsday Run, scheduled for May 1st, would go off without a hitch   When the day finally came, I laced up my shoes, put on my SDP (Spokane Distance Project)  singlet and headed out on the 1 mile run from my house to the downtown race where I would first meet up with the rest of my SDP teammates.   As I ran up to meet the group, I came across my fellow Hip Runner, Stan ‘The Man’ Holman.  In his day, Stan terrorized the collegiate running scene and was without a doubt one of the top runners in Spokane.    Stan had come to run the race from out of town and it was truly awesome to be able to spend some time with him prior to the start.  We discussed our goals for the race.  This would be one of Stan’s first attempts at racing a distance this long after his THR.  He anticipated a reserved finish time somewhere in the low 50’s.  I was hoping for a sub-50 minute race for this 12k but hinted that I would be extremely happy to break 49.

Last year, I placed 10th in my age group.  I had hoped that moving up to a new age group (50-54) would bode well for my age group finish place.  The problem with that plan was that many of the fast guys in the previous age group were my age as well.  This, combined with my lack of training while recovering from knee surgery last year, worked against me.  When the gun went off, I went out fast (for me).  I knew there were hills coming, so I wanted to bank some time early.  My teammates know that this is my motus operandi that I use for every race.  Some think it is crazy, but I think it would have made Steve Prefontaine proud.  My mind tells me that it is better to lay it all out there and fail then to leave some out there and not try your hardest.  This race strategy worked well for me until I reached the formidable Doomsday Hill at mile 5.  The sun felt hot and I was starting to struggle.   As I worked my way up the hill, fellow age grouper (and SDP teammate) Bill Fitzner came up on me.  I tried to hang with him, but at about mile 6.5 I had to let him go.  As the finish line for the 12k (7.46 mile) course got closer and closer, I got slower and slower.  In the final quarter mile stretch to the finish, two other SDP teammates(Christopher Goodwin and Mike Lauffer) ,who are also in my age group, took me down.  There was no challenge in me.  I was spent.

My finish time for the race was 49:02 (6:34 miles).  I came through the first mile at around 6:02.  Given my training and overall conditioning….I will agree that that was a bit gutsy…and maybe a little bit foolish.  But I am an OPTIMISTIC guy, and I was relying on the spirit of Bloomsday to pull me through.   Fellow hip runner Stan the man was on my tail clocking a time of 49:53 (6:41 miles).  We finished 15th and 20th in our age group.  Now that Stan has dipped his toe in the post THR Bloomsday water, I suspect that the top spots in my age group are going to be even harder to attain.

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