Sunday, June 29, 2008
It was quite a year, metal wise! Well, actually 18 months from start to finish, in this medal collection anyway. But all of the Heavy Medals were collected in the same year as part of the Elite Racing rules, ending with their big boy Rock Star!
At noon and going clockwise around the circle, first up (and my first ever competition) is the first OBX Earth Day Run 2006. It was an 8K and lots of fun. The medal is the small one with the dark ribbon. The goody bag all runners got was cloth and inside held Smart Wool socks. Awesome! I got first in my age group.
Then came the Nags Head Woods 5K Run 2006. I got second in my age group and a trophy. I repeated that in 2007. My two trophies are in the middle of the circle.
Third was a nasty 5K run in the sand at high tide in August. Still I was the only one in my age bracket and so brought home first place.
Fourth came our (my training partner Suzanne and I) first big run, 20,000+ runners at the Virginia Beach Elite Racing Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon 2006.
Donny offered to take me to San Jose for the next Elite Racing event which also happened to be an inagural race. Why not I thought? A trip to California and all I have to do is run 13.1 miles. We both competed and Donny, sans any training, was not that far behind me.
This brought me a 26.2 bonus medal for completing two Elite Racing R n R halves in the same year. That's all it took. I was completely hooked on medal collecting.
A quick 5K at home brought another gold into my brace of medals but only because not many women race after age 50.
Then came the reason I got into this whole marathon thing, the first ever OBX Marathon. It was grueling and I finished 4th in my age group but finish we did, Suzanne and I.
And then it was 2007 and my quest to be an Elite Racing Rock Star. This meant competing in all of their events (then five, now six). But you could pick between the whole or half marathon if it was offered. Not me. I had to sign up for every whole, of which there were three.
First off the block was Phoenix in January. It was freezing, literally. But I finished in 6:30ish. Sad but within the limits. And we got to visit nephew Adam and meet his wife, Kim and new daughter, Harlee.
Next was an open stretch until Nashville at the end of April so Suzanne and I did the inaugural Dismal Swamp Stomp 1/2 Marathon. We did an easy race at 2:40. And we were in the loo when the race started!
Nashville gave Donny and I a chance to visit Donald & Terri, and they were all sweet enough to meet me at the end and even run the last .2 beside me! Still clocking 6:30ish.
And I pick up my first 2007 bonus medal (all my bonus medals are toward the middle of the circle in the picture, save the Rock Star which has the place of honor in the very middle). I get a silver note for completing two R n R events in the same year.
San Diego was a short five weeks later. It was hot and I am STILL running a 6:30ish race. I am trying to finish without injuring myself so that I can be a Rock Star but still you would think my times would inch downward a bit. (This just in: The Kansas City Barbecue where the Top Gun bar scene was filmed burned completely June 27, 2008. Full story and photos on my LJ).
I pick up two bonus medals this time. The gold note for completing the Nashville full and San Diego in the same year. Plus the Triple Crown for finishing three R n R events in the same year.
September brings the Virginia Beach half and practically on it's heels the Philadelphia Distance Run. It is not an official R n R but is sponsored by Elite and if you do Virginia Beach and Philly you get a bonus medal. And new to 2007 if you finish any other Elite R n R in the same year plus Philly you get yet another bonus. So after Philly it's two more bonus medals for me!
And after Virginia Beach I pick up my next two Elite bonus medals. The Grand Slam, for completing any four R n R events in the same year. And a 39.3 for completing a whole and a half R n R marathon in the same year.
Last on the R n R circuit is San Jose. Donny will run this one again, as he takes on a half marathon just not a full. I have a gold/yellow Rock Star bib! How cool is that. I'm doing the halves in a slow time too, just under three, but I want to finish within the legal limits and not be limping across the finish. Finally it's done and I am a real honest to goodness Rock Star! One of just a few hundred of the thousands that ran these races. My name is in the archives and on the webpage. AND, I get a huge garish medal! Plus I get my last regular bonus medal of yet another 26.2 for completing two R n R half marathons in the same year.
But wait I am not finished running. Since we are in California anyway I have signed on for the Nike Women's Marathon the weekend following San Jose. The medal is a Tiffany charm on a necklace. It shows a runner and has the date on the back. These are given to finishers by cool dudes in tuxedos. I have since learned that this very popular race is now limited to lottery only. I am so glad I did it when I did. At that it took both Donny and I several attempts to get my registration completed and that was on the day that registration opened.
Nike also had a virtual half marathon option for this race using their chip as validation of your run. Since I had a Nike chip I signed on for the virtual race and so got that nifty Spanish leather key chain tag too. It is stamped with the date.
My penultimate race in my marathon of marathons was the Raleigh City of Oaks newly reinstated marathon. It was a nice race but I felt bad and would have quit except at that point I was in the woods and no where near a good bailout point. The ick cleared up and I finished in my usual 6:30 time frame.
My last marathon for awhile was back home for the 2nd OBX the week following Raleigh. I was pretty tired but actually felt stronger although my time was no better.
For now I am resting on my laurels, polishing my medals and getting lots of pedicures for my 276 official racing miles later weary feet. I am still training though and will pick up the thread again before long!
It is quite an impressive display I must say.