This weekend is the annual running of the Boilermaker 15K Road Race. The great part about the Boilermaker is the finish is at a huge party at the F.X.. Matt Brewery where Saranac beer is brewed. The two hour post-race party has a great band and free beer. No, this is not about the race itself. I just saw a tweet from Brad who is running his 10th Boilermaker on Sunday (Good Luck!). This got me to thinking about the races I have run in my three years of racing.
I ran the Boilermaker my first year but didn’t register in time the second year. I got closed out and that first year is the only year I have run it. The only race – so far as there are a couple that may qualify in August – that I have run every year I have been racing is the Skunk Cabbage Classic Half Marathon. Let me tell you it is a miracle I ever went back to run it a second year as my first time on the hard, hilly course I was dead last in the race.
That first Skunk Cabbage was my third race ever. I had run a December 5K and a half marathon just three weeks earlier. Turkey Hill nearly had me done in but I kept going. I was going to finish if it killed me, and for a short period of time, I was certain it would. I remember passing a few people near the point where the race heads back onto the campus of Cornell University. I do not know what happened to those people as they did not run past me. They must have stopped. The photographer for the two races – a 10K and the half marathon – was waiting as I turned the last corner to run to the finish. He, after taking a few shots, ran along with me, having been told I was the last person. The good news was I cut 4 minutes off my time from my first marathon three weeks prior.
The second Skunk Cabbage I ran was a week or two after my first running of the Forks XV. I had run my first marathon in February and it was now April. I was recovered. I cut six minutes off my course time and PR’d. I was so excited. I was also getting closer to my then goal of going under 2:30 for a half marathon. I could not imagine running this course any faster but I would learn many lessons between then and April 1, 2012.
My third Skunk Cabbage was at a peak time in my 2 marathon May training. I knew I was in perfect form for this particular race. I also knew it would be a great indicator of my time for Pittsburgh in four weeks. I almost didn’t make it to the race as I had issues with cars here at my house. The night before I managed to hitch a ride with two other local women. I was hesitant to ride up with most people as I knew that I was a slower runner than most and I hate to keep people waiting. My best half time had gotten down to 2:32 over the course of 2011. I was hoping to maybe get a minute or two off. The ultimate goal was to finish in under 2:30.
I was extremely excited with this particular race and will most likely run it again and again. I finished that third Skunk Cabbage half in 2:29. I have a new goal now, to finish a half in less than 2:15.
Do you have a race that you run over and over each year? What is the most times you have run one race?