Monday, September 03, 2007

Summer of Runnin'

Summer is a time for rest and relaxation. For me, the summer of 2007 was a summer of runnin' and racin'. In early June, I decided to see if I could compete in at least one road race per week for the entire summer -- from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

This crazy quest began at the Bare Bones 5K in Salisbury on Memorial Day weekend and ended this morning at the Cancer Services Labor Day 5K in Gastonia. During the 15 weekends, beginning May 26 and ending Sept. 3, I ran 19 total races in three states, in 14 North Carolina cities, in 12 North Carolina counties. The races included one mile run, 13 5Ks, one 8K, two 10Ks, one marathon and one sprint triathlon, and at some point during the streak, I set a new personal best in each distance.

I may have taken this challenge a bit too far because in some weeks, running more than one race in a single week and, on one occasion, more than one race in a single day. Early on during the streak, I ran two night-day double-headers -- traveling for a nighttime race on a Friday then returning for a morning race on Saturday. I did this during back-to-back weeks in June. Once during the streak (June 30), I ran a true double-header -- a 10K in Greensboro in the morning and a 5K in the small town of Oakboro that evening.

The streak nearly came to an end about halfway through. I had trouble finding a race during the weekend of Aug. 3, and I seriously considered not running in the Beat the Heat 5K in Winston-Salem on July 21. At the last minute, I decided to go do the race, and the following week I found a race for the weekend of Aug. 3 -- the Draper Mile in Blacksburg, Va.

In thinking back over the streak, each race brings back special memories, but the one that stands out the most is this morning's Cancer Services 5K in Gastonia -- and not just because it was the last race in the streak. At this morning's run, I got to share the experience with my longtime friend Eric, who was competing in this first race of any distance. I think it's safe to say the race exceeded his expectations.

When Eric kicked in the afterburners in the final stretch of the race, a spectator yelled, "Look at him go!" Eric cruised to a strong time of 26:42 in his first 5K. I think he caught the racing bug this morning so look out for him in the future.

As for me, I can say I've definitely become a race junkie. I don't know what kind of quirky challenge I'll come up with next. It will be weird not doing a race next weekend. After all, I already have races planned for the 15th, 23rd and 30th of September. And then the Chicago Marathon is the following week on Oct. 7. I might just have to find a race next weekend to keep the streak going just a bit longer.

Following is a summary of the races completed in the "Summer of Runnin'"

  • Sat., May 26, Bare Bones 5K, Salisbury, N.C., 21:32 (New 5K PR, Placed 2nd in age group)
  • Sat., June 2, Sunburst Marathon, South Bend, Ind., 3:54:46 (New marathon PR)
  • Sat., June 9, Race for the Cure 5K, Raleigh, N.C., 25:26
  • Fri., June 15, Tour de Kale 5K Night Run, Denton, N.C., 23:57
  • Sat., June 16, St. Francis of Assisi Run for Peace 5K, Raleigh, N.C., 24:55
  • Fri., June 22, China Grove 5K Main Street Challenge, China Grove, N.C., 22:49
  • Sat., June 23, Law Enforcement 5K Torch Run for Special Olympics, Selma, N.C., 22:27 (Placed 1st in age group)
  • Sat., June 30, Freedom Run 10K, Greensboro, N.C., 53:23
  • Sat., June 30, Freedom Run 5K, Oakboro, N.C., 22:28 (Placed 3rd in age group)
  • Wed., July 4, Kernersville Rotary July 4 5K, Kernersville, N.C., 23:08
  • Sat., July 7, 2007, Tri-Span 10K, Wilmington, N.C., 50:53 (New PR in 10K)
  • Sat., July 14, Paul Hale Memorial 5K Run, Raleigh, N.C., 24:20
  • Sat., July 21, Beat the Heat 5K, Winston-Salem, N.C., 23:14
  • Sat., July 28, Mission Man Triathlon, Burlington, N.C., 1:41:13 (Swim: 15:01; T1: 2:40; Bike: 57:43; T2: :48; Run: 25:02) New PR in Sprint Triathlon
  • Fri., Aug. 3, The Draper Mile, Blacksburg, Va., 5:58
  • Sat., Aug. 11, Hoppin' Fun Superhero Run 5K, Greensboro, N.C., 24:48
  • Sat., Aug. 18, Ramble Trail 8K, Troy, N.C., 39:09 (First trail race, PR in 8K, placed 2nd in age group)
  • Sat., Aug. 25, Run with Lions 5K, Oxford, N.C., 23:01 (Placed 2nd in age group)
  • Mon., Sept. 3, Cancer Services Labor Day 5K, Gastonia, N.C., 26:45

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At 7:55 PM, Blogger Eric Wilson said...

Thanks Chad! It was an awesome weekend! I'm already planning on running 2 more 5Ks w/in the next month!


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