Last Saturday, I ran the inaugural Rainbow Race 10K in nearby Richmond, RI. I was hoping to run this race when I saw it advertised, but it wasn't until Thursday night that I knew I could run it after figuring out a childcare solution. I was more nervous before this race than any recent ones. I think because I thought there was a chance no one fast would show up - certainly nobody I knew was running it. Maybe a "W" would be possible. Time-wise, my goal was to be right around my PR of 37:24, ideally I could knock a few seconds off and average sub 6 miles.
By the time I arrived at the race and got my bib, there was only 30 minutes to go. There was a huge crowd and the event was well run. I couldn't tell how many people were doing the 10K, as it appeared the majority were doing the 5K walk. I soon noticed a bald guy that I recognized as Chad. We headed out for a warm up and caught up on our training since last summer. He had read my blog and was complimentary on my running and seemed to think I should beat him today. I wasn't so sure, since I never have, and he seemed to be in good shape. At the start line we noticed a tall fast looking kid and then I saw local runner Glen G and chatted with him briefly. There were some other runners with team jerseys (TNT and NRA). I was still hoping for top 5.
At the gun, I took off with Chad, Glen, and the fast looking kid. I briefly took the lead on a small uphill section and then was quickly passed on the descent by the three of them. Glenn and the kid pulled away and I found myself a few seconds behind Chad. There didn't appear to be anyone close behind. 5:48 first mile - right where I thought I would be and identical to my 10K PR. The second mile was on a mostly flat straight road. Chad's lead increased to maybe 10-15 seconds. Mile 2 - 5:59 - I was still hopeful that I would catch him and I knew the biggest hill (not that big) was coming up. I pushed up the hill and was able to pass Chad. I tried to keep pushing knowing that he would probably catch back up once we hit the long descent. I did a good job of letting my legs go, and put some distance between us. It was here that I saw Jeff watching the race with his family. It was awesome to have him out supporting me there and he told me I was 20 yards ahead. I crossed the 3 mile mark (6:02 - 17:50 for three miles) and made the puddle-riddled turn onto Beaver River Road. This road is flat and scenic, but when you're working hard, it feels endless and uphill. I felt slow. It also began to rain. I could here someone rapidly catching up to me. Ugh! Luckily, it was Jeff again, this time on a bike, encouraging me and letting me know the gap on Chad (getting bigger). I made the turn onto Beaver River School House Road (no evidence of a school house that I could see). Mile 4 - 6:12 - not pretty. The rain was steadier, but it felt good. I was now running the opposite way of the 5K walkers. This road again was flat (one small hill), but felt all uphill, but at least having the walkers cheer me on (or making me run strong so that I didn't look miserable) was helpful. I turned onto Heaton Orchard Road and passed mile 5 in 6:09 (30:12 through 5 miles). A very straight road slightly uphill towards the finish line. Near the end of this road I finally gave in and looked back for Chad. I didn't have my glasses on (I was carrying them once it began raining) so I couldn't tell where he was, but it didn't appear he was too close. I turned onto Rte 138, knowing there wasn't much more to go. I hit mile 6 in 6:10. I picked up my pace for the last .2, but I've certainly mustered up better efforts. I finished the race in 37:34. My kids and my parents were right there to greet me which was really nice.
Official Results here
Post race I talked with Chad and Glen, and also with various local people who were in attendance, including my son's teacher. I was blushing as he told her that his dad came in third place. My parents had to leave, so I waited around with my kids for the awards ceremony to begin (cash prize). Despite the rain, my kids had a blast running around and playing in the mud. The food was awesome - lot's of homemade treats and there was even a band (I hadn't heard Christian music this rocking since Stryper in the late 80's). Unfortunately, my kids got cranky after an hour plus of waiting around, so I had to leave before collecting my prize.
Overall, I was please with this race. A PR would have been nice, but I was only 10 seconds off, and I probably would have been a little faster if I had other runners' around me the last three miles like I did in that PR race. I probably went out a little too fast. I enjoy racing this distance. The event was well run and I definitely recommend it. I wish I had a WTAC jersey to race in!