Not to be outdone by Funky, nor to waste an opportunity for shameless electronic scrapbooking, if not self-promotion, I thought I’d mention that I completed Lehigh Valley Roadrunners’ South Mountain 10 Miler near Bethlehem PA this morning in a pretty good time: 82:32 (by my watch). The reason it’s called the South Mountain 10 Miler is… well… apparently… you basically run up a mountain (“South Mountain”??), approximately 550 ft rise over 1.5 miles, and then back again. So only about 4 of the 10 miles could be considered anywhere near flat. My splits pretty much tell the story:
mile 1: 8:08
mile 2: 8:13 — very slight uphill
mile 3: 8:17 — major climb begins around mi. 2.5
mile 4: 10:34 — all uphill, about 9% grade!!
mile 5: 8:29 — up… and down… and up
mile 6: 8:07 — down… and up… and down
mile 7: 6:29 — mile 4 going the other way
mile 8: 7:38 — mile 3 going the other way
mile 9: 8:26 — mile 2 going the other way
mile 10: 8:11 — mile 1 going the other way
Now I am an inveterate 10 mile runner (this was my 7th over the past 4+ years), and the story behind this race begins with the fact that less than two months ago I ran a PW (personal worst) in the Virginia 10 Miler, Lynchburg VA, (92:38). This was after expecting to do at least (at most depending on how you look at such things) an 84:00. My PR was 82:09 run in September 2004. I laid my failure on dehydration, most likely caused by having too much to drink (3 drinks, not too many for a Catholic) the night before. I didn’t pee for almost 5 hours after that race, even after multiple liters of water and Gatorade.
So the race in Bethlehem was my redemption race. And given the fact that the South Mountain race is more challenging than the Lynchburg race, which ends with a mere 200 foot climb, I’d say that I’ve set a new personal best. The secrets to success were two platefuls of spaghetti-n-marina Sat. night, no meat, no bread, and no wine (darn), a Jersey Boy Bagel Shop salt-encrusted bagel 45 min. before race time, and a 20 oz. Gatorade gulped down about 3 min before race time. My friend and colleague, Allan Zheng, who ran with me for about 4 miles, also ate a salt bagel and had a great time, too. (NB: Jersey Boy bagels is locally owned and operated so if you don’t live near Morristown NJ, you may be outa luck!) And I was of course helped by the intercession of saints, present and future. Thanks for my wife and kids praying for me during mass (10 AM was right about when I needed their prayers), to St. Sebastian, Patron of Athletes (loosely construed in my case), to our Blessed Mother, and thanks be to God.
Update: Official results (pdf) are in.