This race is kind of special, because it’s the only one in New England that I’ve done three times. In Charleston this was common, but since then I’ve moved a bunch of times and just didn’t have the roots required to be a regular anywhere. This lovely race is a confirmation that I am now a permanent Mainer.
I wasn’t sure if I could do the race this year because my wife has started a bakery business and I’m needed at farmers’ markets on the weekends. I waited to be sure that I would be free on race day, and the delay cost me a chance to get a shirt as part of registration. I could have just bought one, but decided against it because I have maybe a thousand running shirts now. Maybe next year I’ll pick up an extra one or something.
The weather on race day was a gift. Blue skies and a comfy temperature have a profound effect upon New Englanders after a harsh winter. Everyone is happy, friendly and easy to please. We couldn’t hear a word of the pre-race briefing due to a crummy bullhorn, but that was okay because everything else was put together very nicely.
I decided to leave my phone in the car so it wouldn’t distract me during the race. I wanted a legitimate time to compare myself to later, and I can’t have that if I’m slowing down to take pictures of stuff. I ran a brisk but cautious three kilometers around the Maine Mall before picking it up a bit in the last two, and I managed to punch it to the Finish Line without throwing up. (It’s very important to not throw up whenever possible.) My time was 25:38. Not as fast as I used to be, but faster than I had expected.
I was a bit shaky on my legs afterward, but I walked and/or jogged to the car for the camera and managed to get some pictures of folks finishing after me. I was especially happy to get people at the 30-minute mark since that’s a common goal for folks. I even got some video. Check out the final push from the dude at 1:40!
After some photos and some chatting with the other runners, I went inside. Pizza was provided free to the runners, along with access to some massage therapists on the back deck. I had skipped breakfast, so I just stuck with the pizza. Then I washed up and was on my way.
Due to the timing of this race, I think I’ll be able to participate every year without missing a market. I’m already looking forward to next year.