Monday, May 21, 2007

53.12 at the Groton 10k!

My last day in the US this visit and its at the Groton 10k. This post is a little late, but I had to write about it.

My first long race (more than 1 mile!) in 3 years. I had the usual race nerves getting ready for the race. My brother, a couple of his friends and I reached the venue a little early and were just taking in the sites and the atmosphere. There were the usual band playing, sports drinks companies selling samples, etc. There was even a test where they were giving free pre and post race massages.

I was too nervous to try it out. Anyway, we gathered at the start line - a good 150 meters behind it actually. There was quite a crowd. I heard later that there were some 1200 participants in the 10k.

When the gun went off, I quickly moved through the crowd trying to find a gap. The first kilometer was tough - as always. Getting warmed up and finding my rythm. Fortunately, I was dressed warm in a pull over. I also carried a couple of energy gels with me. Never tried it before but I thought I'll check them out.

Once I got into my rythm things started looking good. There was a bag piper around the 5th k - up on a hill and alone - quite picturesque. I running a pretty good pace and I was moving up on a few people by now.

A couple of kms later and the picture started to change just a little bit. A couple of pretty girls passed me by. I had to let them pass. Gentlemen are like that. Then a guy who seemed to be in his 70s - he was probably a lot younger - slowly passed me by. Gentlemen are like that too.

I decided to try my energy gel. It was pungent and harsh. But it woke me up. I pulled in a blistering burst for 100m and exhausted all the gel I had consumed. These packets are very small it seems. I then continued at my regular pace after having shaken up the several ( 2 ) runners that I passed in that burst.

I made the mistake of not drinking any water. There were only two stations. So I couldnt really get any in for the rest of the race.

I was now coming up to the last km of the race. It was getting really exciting now. I and a couple of guys with a stroller and a baby fought bitterly for position. Then I let them go - yes, you got it - gentlemen are like that.

I then urned into the final quarter mile and I decided to burn all my matches and sprint all out like Abibe Bekila coming in for a strong finish in the 10,000m. Boy was I a sight. I finished 683rd out of a field of 1200. I was just being gentlemanly as you would have guess by now.

Overall, it was a great race. I felt really good after the race. I waited for my brother to finish and we packed up and left.

From here next step was the Bangalore Midnight Marathon!

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