Friday, July 27, 2016
My 14th straight Blessing would be a less than optimal race due to heat and humidity. The morning of the race it was raining with a temp in the 60s, but alas it would not last. On the drive to Narragansett the temp in the car showed 82F, even approaching 5pm.
Start to Mile 4: After a short warm-up with Mike, Aaron, and Matthew, I am already dripping sweat and my pessimism about the race increased. This race has a nice feature of a separate corral for the first 100 runners, and it really helps reduces the clog in the first mile. My first mile was the only one on target pace, with a split of 5:51. Felt good thus far. By the end of the 2nd mile, I sensed the gig was up, as my pace had slowed to a 6:07 and I felt like I was struggling to maintain that. The final two miles on Ocean Road came in at 6:04 and 6:18.
|Warm up with a few of Team WTAC.|
(Lions Club complimentary pic)
|Turning onto Ocean Road,|
near end of Mile 1.
Form still looking good.
|Final mile. Trying and failing to hold off a|
Chariho young runner, who looks like he's taking it easy.
My form is completely gone. Am I leaning backwards?
(Pic by Jana)
Finish: Please end this sweaty sufferfest. I take advantage of every remaining sprinkler and water stop, but otherwise it's a blur. As I cross the finish line, I am feeling really weak. I barely acknowledge Tom and Matthew (sorry, guys). Matthew hands me a full Gatorade bottle, which I take with my bottle of water to walk it off and try to regain my composure.
|Finally, it's over.|
Final results: 1:04:58. 81st overall out of 2,438. 1st in age group. Full results here.
Well, well, it turns out so many other runners had heat / slowness issues as well, and taking a first in my age group at Blessing is a first for me. It comes with a $75 gift certificate to the Wakefield Running Company (previously Camire's). None of my speedy sub-hour WTAC teammates are able to break an hour today. Well, that is with the exception of Matthew, who dropped a 57:42 in 12th overall! Congrats to all who survived Blessing '16. Will I be back next year? Of course! Will I whine about it? I'm getting my excuses ready now. :)