Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Running With the Roosters

(Originally posted on Runners World Loop 7/10/11)

Tucson gets pretty hot during the summer. Monsoons add humidity, so there usually aren't as many running events as there are during other times of the year.  One event that tries to get around this problem is the Everyone Runs Run With the Roosters 5 Miler.
The race starts and finishes in the parking lot for Old Tucson Studios, one of the area's attractions and famous for the many Westerns that take advantage of the beautiful desert surroundings.  The course consists of a loop along the roads and has rolling hills the entire way.
We were fortunate this morning to have thick cloud cover.  The race starts promptly at 5:00 a.m., which was just after dark.  Since Old Tucson is about an hour's drive for me, I had to get up really early!  I stopped on the way to pick up my friend Don at 3:45 a.m., and we arrived for warm-up and race prep around 4:15.
I felt pretty good on this course, despite the fact that this was my 4th racing event in the past 7 days.  (Monday was the 4th of July Freedom 5k; Wednesday evening was the Aquathlon 800yd swim / 3 mile run; Thursday evening was the Parks & Recreation 2k + 5k races).  So I took off fairly fast, hitting the 1 mile mark at about 6:05 and 2 miles at about 12:05. The hills slowed me down by the mostly-uphill 3rd mile.  At around the halfway point, I had moved in to 3rd place, and managed to hold that position the rest of the way.  So my final result was 3rd place overall, with a time of 31:58 - not sure yet what the total number of runners was but I'd guess around 250-300.
These days it's rather unusual for race directors  to purchase trophies for awards, so I was really excited to get a golden rooster trophy!  Also got 2 free meal certificates for getting 3rd.
Steve Landau always put on a classy race and this one was no exception. There were a lot of happy early birds out there this morning!
Time for me to slow it down a bit as I taper for the San Francisco Marathon!

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