(Originally Published on Runners World Loop 8/13/11)
Haile’s done it, Mo might do it this month, plenty of athletes go for it - why shouldn’t I? Run a double, that is, racing in both 5k and 10k events in a short timeframe. Conventional wisdom says you should not run two races in a weekend, but I love running so decided to give it a try this weekend.
Today’s distance was a 5k, and tomorrow will be the 10k. Here‘s a little blog about the 5k, which was the inaugural “Ann Schmidt Run to Remember”. This race was a fundraiser and memorial race for the Tucson Soccer Academy, held in conjunction with their fall season kickoff celebration.
My youngest son, Jason, joined me on this one. We were both very tired but managed to get to the park well before the 6:30 a.m. start. I was pleased to see many runners mingling around the registration booths. Race Directors have a hard time estimating participation in an inaugural event, and this one turned out much larger than expected – good news for the TSA!
My race went well. I didn’t plan to push hard on the pace, for several reasons. First, it’s less than two weeks since I ran the San Francisco Marathon so my legs are still in recovery mode; Second, I ran a mile time trial on Tuesday night for the Marathon Talk Magic Mile Global Team Challenge (my time was 5:32), and that left me a bit sore; and Third, I wanted to reserve just a bit of energy for the 10k tomorrow. So I set my goal at 19:30, which turned out to be very realistic – my final time per my Timex Global Trainer watch was 19:28.
After I finished I ran to get my camera, and was able to snap a few pics of Jason as he neared the finish line. The course was an out-and-back along the Rillito River Path. We use the term “River” quite loosely here in the Arizona desert – the river is left of the path in this picture, and as is normally the case, there is absolutely no water flowing!
Here’s a shot of my friend Bruce cruising along. Bruce (a.k.a. Tucson Strider on the RW Loop) and his wife both ran the race.
The final stretch of the course was in a grassy soccer field. Here’s Jason kicking it in – when he decides to put the wings on, he can really fly!
After the race, the runners were invited to join the TSA kickoff breakfast. Funny how ravenous you can get after running, and they certainly had plenty of food on hand to allow those of us with no willpower to satisfy our gluttonous tendencies! Blueberries ARE good for you, so blueberry muffins are too, right?
Of course no race is complete without the awards ceremony. My finish was 3rd place overall, and 1st for my age group. Jason got 3rd for his age group, and Bruce also earned a 3rd place award. We all won nice coffee mugs.
So tomorrow will be another race. I’ve got a lot to do today but I’m hoping for an early bedtime this evening, because tomorrow’s race will require that I rise around 3:00 a.m.! I’m excited about it, though, and while I won’t go into details here, I will say that the race starts in an (in)famous location. Hint: Wyatt Earp.
By the way, today’s race was intended to honor a victim of breast cancer. I didn’t know Ann, but after hearing about her and observing the legacy she left behind at this morning’s race, I know she must have been a very special person. Here is what the race brochure had to say about Ann Schmidt:
"Ann Schmidt was a TSA manager for 8 years during which time she took the position to a new level. The 94 Red Girls were the envy of the club for all that Ann did for them "above and beyond the call of duty." Most notably, Ann was diagnosed with what ultimately turned out to be terminal breast cancer in 2005. Despite this illness and its debilitating treatment Ann maintained her enthusiasm, positive attitude and caring approach to managing her team right up to the time of her passing. All the TSA girls loved her as she loved them. She was an unbelievable role model for the girls in TSA embodying the very core spirit of courage, determination and strength in the face of adversity along with love and compassion for others we strive so hard to instill in all TSA youth. For this we name our Inaugural run the "Ann Schmidt Run to Remember"."