Monday, March 17, 2008

Runnin' of the Green 7k - the Story

Greeting Readers

I guess I better open up with this. At the Runnin' of the Green - Lucky 7k Run I have posted my best time at this specific event only. Not too shabby at all.

lashback - I woke up pretty early Sunday morning and I was getting myself all relaxed for the morning race. I watched some tv, took a nice long hot shower and decided to take a RTD to downtown.

I was out the door at 8:45 AM and I headed for the bus stop. I got there and stood where the sun was shining since I did not bring a jacket. I wanted to show off my new bike jersey. So, I wore to layers to compensate for the missing jacket.

9:00 AM. 9:10 AM. 9:15 AM. 9:25 AM. Still no bus. I was getting worried. Really worried. Well 9:30 AM I left the bus stop and headed home to get the bike.

The Runnin' of the Green starts at 10:15 AM. I grabbed my bike and started to ride to the Arapahoe Light Rail Station. I was really riding fast and harder, but not too hard since I did not want to start any lactic acid production in my body. I still needed to run a 7k this morning. I think I got to Light rail about 9:40 AM.

Dang. I was going to cut this close or not make the starting line in time. Shit. I was wondering what light rail route was going to show up next. The one that either goes to Aurora, to 16th street mall or the one that I needed the one that goes to Union station. It was 9:45 when the Light rail car made its appearance.

In the distance I thought I saw "Nine Mile" which meant that this Light rail was going to Aurora. As the Light rail got closer I saw "Union Station" and was relieved about that. Yet, I was still cutting my time close. How long does it take to get to Union Station from Arapahoe Station with all the stops in between? I don't know.

9:50 AM. 10:00 AM. 10:14 AM. I had reached the Light rail station at Union Station. Wow. I got off the train and headed to the west since I know which way the starting direction was going to be. As I rounded the corner onto 16th street mall I saw the back of the pack still at the starting line. Whew. But I did not stop running.

I finally made it to the end of the runners at the back of the starting line. Two minutes later the starting of the Runnin' of the Green 7k was on its way. Two minutes to spare. How's that for cutting it close. Granted, it took 3 more minutes to actually cross the starting line, but at least I was not late.

I was weaving in and out of the runners while running. Cutting here and there. I was scanning all the runners in front of me trying to find openings. I was also looking for someone who was just a bit better than me running so I could pace myself with him/her. Nothing.

I was constantly passing runners. A few runners did pass me, but only a few. Only because I started at the back of the race as probably did the other runners who passed me, which meant all the fast runners left in the front group or close to the starting line. No big deal.

I would estimate at about the 3 mile mark the runners had lighten up and the road was less crowded. I could actually run without weaving. What was also going for me was that the route back into Lower Downtown Denver was almost all downhill.

Then, going under the bridges that are located near Coors Field my left shoelace came undone. Damn. I did not want to stop, but I needed to. I needed to get a good time and also did not want anyone to step on my undone shoe lace.

I ran to the side of the street and nearly fell over when I was going to tie my shoe lace. Thank goodness for the concrete wall, which I leaned/fell into. I tied that shoe in about 4 seconds and was able to run back to the person I was sort of catching up to.

The run into lower downtown I did pretty good and I was able to keep a good pace throughout the race, but I had to get ready for the last few blocks of the race.

Only two runners passed me for good, which I could tell by their pace. I did not think there was a chance that I was going to be able to chase (run down) those two runners down. I let them be and concentrated on my pre-finishing sprint and set-up. As I neared the last two corners I picked up my pace and then I saw that there was a woman runner that was going to pass me.

She did pass me on the last corner and she probably thought that was the last time that she was going to see me. Uh-no. No way. Not going to happen in this lifetime. I immediately picked up my pace and caught up to her pretty quickly - in about 10 feet or so.

That moment was the time, my moment, that I had to launch my attack. My final sprint. This was the moment that I was going to imitate the T-1000 from Terminator 2 - Judgement Day. I picked up my legs and moved my arms vigorously. I sprinted past that woman runner very quickly and fast, which I needed to in order to keep a counterattack on my sprint to the finish.

I was sprinting so fast those last two blocks, I think, I once more overwhelmed 40 to 50 more runners and also kept that woman in my dust.

And the rest is history.

I drank afterwards. I got my T-shirt. I met some friends. Some co-workers. Met Emily (from Ohio). I enjoyed the music. I enjoyed the shining sun we still had. I had a great time, but needless to say I did drink way too much.

Whew. That puts another Runnin' of the Green 7k in the books for me.

ntil the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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