I have to say that I am absolutely amazed at the number of people who ran this race yesterday. I was told that generally the Vestal XX has about 150 people who run it. This year was its 40th running, making it the oldest road race in Broome County. To celebrate, Kathrine Switzer came back and ran it again. More on Kathrine in a later post.
This year there were just shy of 200 runners, although it seemed like more as I was out on the course. The course itself is difficult on a good day. Yesterday was hot and humid. Even starting at 7:30 am – the early start – I was hot and suffering by mile 9.
As you can see, the majority of the course is uphill. That is okay with me as I train on roads that are at best rolling but more uphill than not. I forgot, though just how hard that uphill at 11 was going to be. I did fairly well until about the 15K point – just over 9 miles. From about 9.5 mile to 11 miles, I was exhausted and my legs were just not in it. I did, though, pick it back up at mile 11 and trudge up that last hill. Unfortunately, my legs were so tired I had trouble taking advantage of the downhill finish. I just could not pick my speed back up then.
I want to thank the woman at the 6 mile water station. She took my warm water bottle, refilled it with cold water, and ran to catch up with me. The man at mile three with the hose out and a spray on it was greatly appreciated by the end of the race. At mile three, I was not sure I wanted to be sprayed but was happy by mile six that I said yes to him. Thanks to Jen who was volunteering at her first race. It was nice to see a familiar face at mile seven.
Thanks to Dan, the race director. He did a great job running this race. It can’t be easy to be training for a trail run and trying to run a race also. The water stops were great and plentiful. The course wonderful. There were lots of police and EMS presence for those who may have needed either.
I had a great time as I actually knew other runners this race. It was great to have encouragement from Kristy and Dan as they drove the race. It was nice, as Steve ran past me – I met Steve when I ran my first half marathon, that he offered words of encouragement. Kathleen, the race director from that first half, also ran this and stopped and walked a bit with me when she got to me. It was that little break by someone who I know has run marathons that pushed me to pick it back up even though I was exhausted at that point. It was somewhere after 15K.