Best Race Ever

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Woody 14 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #1279

    Woody
    Member

    Thought I would lighten up the board a little . What is your favorite PR or race ? I’ll start.

    My Favorite was 2003 Al’s run. I had a vendetta on somebody who stepped in front of me at the finish line the year before ( which by the way was a good move) 😀 I trained a year thinking about it specifically for the event for some pay back. Well it came in a big way. I tapered perfect . Let the guy go out the first two miles then caught him at 2.5 and never looked back to a huge PR with a 5:27 last .97 . 28:58 8K. Happiest I’ve ever been in a race. It might of cost me in another race later but it was well worth it. Pay back is a bitch 😉

    Woody

  • #13722

    Evets Sberk
    Member

    Best race ever was at the big dance…..Boston! Ran in 1997 (100th), bonked at 22 miles, and just got in under 3 hours (Bill Rodgers went by me in Brookline). In 2000 I went back with a group which included a vaunted aquaintance who was clearly on the fringe of the elites. I didnt know the guy well but he worked with the competition in same hospital as me and was clearly considered “the better runner”. I bumped into him in the starting pens and felt really intimidated. We ran together and talked for awhile before the racing effort really began. Later he and I went back and forth for about 20 miles in a friendly “competition” and actually he turned out to be a great guy. In the end I had a PR, beat the guy by about 20 seconds, & had made a great friend. Later the next year I was on his pacer team for the Leadville 100! My PR was so low that I had the fastest time on the flight home and the airline upgraded me to first class!!!! Dont you wish every run could be like the one you have on a pr kind of day?

  • #13723

    Anonymous

    Quantico half-marathon 9-03…. just got a new watch, thought I’d ‘practice’ doing splits on this last race before my fall marathon… at the first mile I realized I had gone out too fast, slowed down and hit the second mile about the same time…

    on the first hill a woman who was ovbviously coaching someone was encouraging her with phrases like “lift your shoulders”, “look ahead”, “own the hill”… thanked her at the top… kept cruising past the golf course, enjoyed the water stops by going to the last table (for a change)…

    during the last mile I kept coming up on guys that were obviously younger than me so I thought I’d help them out… started telling them how they would really feel bad if they let a 49 year old woman beat them… got four guys to pick up the pace… PRed, walked to the parking lot about 2 miles to loosen up and spent the afternoon at the company picnic eating everything in site…

    wish they could all be that easy & fun…

  • #13724

    danm
    Member

    One of many enjoyable races…

    2003 Motorola Marathon. One of the best pieces of advice i can give someone preparing for a marathon is to drive the race course if possible. Brought the wife and kids down to Austin, TX with me on a friday, drove the entire race course in a parade of other cars doing the same thing on Sat. Raced Sunday.

    Within the first 1.5 miles we had gathered into a group of about 6-9 runners and we all introduced ourselves talked about our goal for the day and decided to work together. They were serving red Powerade in tiny bottles and they were difficult to open. So rather than each of us struggling to open a bottle, taking a single sip then tossing most of the rest we began taking turns opening them then passing them around to others.

    Eventually the group dwindled down to me and one other guy. We talked about everything under the sun and at the 22 mile mark when things started to heat up we started sharing pulls and shouting support to each other.

    Finally at the 24 mile mark as we turned into the wind on the final stretch of road he had a little more left than I an I practically had the beg the guy to go on. He slowly pulled away.

    I never lost much pace but he actually picked it up. I came across the line feeling elated. I was only 6 seconds off my goal. Practically starting blubbering like a fool because the race experience could not have been any more perfect.

    When you run across the line of a marathon in the time you were hoping for and feeling good AND immediately vowing you will run another marathon, it has been a good day.

    Dan

  • #13725

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I guess when you have been around running as long as I have and have had as many great experiences as I have had, it’s hard to pick just one. I will never forget 2002 Lakefront or 2002 Al’s Run. I will never forget running a 1:15 PR in the 10k to completely bypass the 33:XX time range. I definitely will never forget conference C-C my freshman year of high school when I led from the gun in the JV race and ended up winning by over a minute to earn my spot on the varsity team for sectionals and my first letter. The sectional C-C race my junior year where I had a huge race and our team qualified for state. The conference C-C race my senior year where I finished third, completing a 1-2-3 sweep of teammates. However, one stands out above the rest. The time I ran was my PR for less than two weeks and is a time that I nearly ran in a workout in 2002 but it was a huge accomplishment and my last opportunity to reach a 4 year old goal.

    Conference 3200 my senior year of high school. The second to last race of the meet. I had already finished 5th in the 1600 after finishing 3rd in that event the year before. My teammate had already won the 1600 and the 800 so I had the chance to complete a team sweep of the distance events. I set a goal before my freshman year of being a conference champion. This was truly my last chance to accomplish this as I would never again run high school conference race.

    Everyone pretty much knew going into the race that there were two contenders for first place, Tony Meyers from Barron and myself. I knew Tony and his brother and sister for a long time and raced against Tony and his brother frequently so we knew each other very well. Well enough, in fact, that I could have told someone before the race exactly how both Tony and I would run the race and what the keys to winning would be. The race was being held on the Chetek track, so I had the home track advantage and the home crowd, which was the most meaningful thing to me. As the gun went off, things started just how I expected. Tony went out hard and I sat back, trusting he would fade in the middle. For the first two laps, he built up a pretty good lead on me. While I wasn’t brimming with confidence in these laps, I knew it would be a suicide mission to go out with him and I did know his racing style well enough to expect him to fade in the middle laps. My only chance was to sit back and hope he faded. In the third lap, I could see it beginning. He was coming back to me ever so slowly. On the back straight of lap 4, it happened. I had caught up with him and easily took the lead. I believe he tried hanging on to me but it didn’t last long. At this point, I had one thing in mind. Put as much distance on him as possible because I knew he had the superior kick. I began using fear as my motivator to keep pushing. Lap 5, I told myself I have to break his will and put a gap on him. Lap 6, I told myself I couldn’t give into the fatigue. If he caught me this late in the race, it was over. Lap 7, I told myself he’s as tired as me and I have to keep opening up this gap or he’s going to outkick me. With about 520 meters to go, I stole a glance over my shoulder. I had about a 30-40 meter lead. I heard Coach Conway yell “Don’t look back, keep running hard!” That’s what I did from that point in. I did my usual gradual acceleration from 500 meters out. I picked up my knees a little more as I hit the front straight of lap 7 and got going a little faster. Usually, this was an attempt to pass people and gap them before they were ready to kick. This time, it was an attempt to make sure Tony didn’t close the gap in time to outkick me. With 300 to go, again, focus on knee lift and pushing hard off the ground. With 200 to go, give it everything I have. As I came off the final turn, I knew I had the race won but I still didn’t want to take a chance so I as still pouring it on with everything I had. Once I crossed the finish line, I got out to lane 3 or 4 and took a knee, partly out of fatigue and partly because I was so excited I couldn’t stand. When I got up, everyone was there. Teammates, coaches, everyone was around me. They all knew how much I wanted this and they were all there to congratulate me.

    One of the things I most remember about this race was the crowd. Being a conference meet, the turnout was pretty good. Being my home track, the largest contingent of the crowd was cheering for myself and my teammates. In the first 3 laps, everyone seemed a bit apprehensive. They were cheering but it just seemed like they were concerned. When I came around on lap 4 after having taken the lead, it was a totally different feeling. There was excitement. Every lap after that, everyone was getting more excited and the energy was building. I’m getting chills just thinking about that. On the final lap, down that final 100 meters, I can’t even describe the feeling. That home stretch was so charged, I was running as hard as I could after a very hard run race but I think I was smiling all the way down that final 100 meters. Partly because I knew that I had my goal in hand but also partly because of the feeling on that track. I wish everyone could experience what I experienced on that track. That was my Olympic moment. For a few seconds there, I really caught a glimpse of what it must be like to run on an Olympic stage with the energy of tens of thousands of people cheering you on. The crowd was nowhere near as large but they were cheering possibly with even more energy and it was amazing. I felt like I was floating above the track. I was running through a tunnel of people, on one side people on the infield close enough that I think my left arm brushed across a few of them. On the other side, people out in lanes 4 and 5. All of them screaming as I went by.

    After the meet was over, I talked with Tony for a bit and he was very gracious. A week later, at the regional meet, we had a carbon copy of conference except there were two people ahead of both of us. This time, it was for the last spot qualifying for the sectional meet. As it turns out, he had his chance the next year, winning his final conference race ever as I was a timer at the meet and qualifying not just to the sectional meet but also to the state meet.

    The whole experience of that race, from the race plan working out exactly how I expected it to all the way to the atmosphere of the race, was something I will never forget.

  • #13726

    Zeke
    Member

    Great topic, Woody. My most memorable race is my first ever 10K on the track my freshman year of college. Going into this race my PR was 37:44 for a road race 4-5 years earlier that had lots of downhills. And during the fall x-c season I had only broken 30 minutes once and I think that course was short.

    I started off running with 2 teammates that I never beat in x-c my freshman year. The pace felt incredibly easy, like we were just jogging. I’d have to look back at my splits, but I think we hit 2 miles in 11:20ish. I was still feeling awesome, but knew I had a long way to go and was sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. So I keep holding back and ran the next 2 miles in 11:20ish again. Now I’m thinking “I ‘only’ have 2 miles to go” and I start picking it up. But the faster I go, the better I feel. I couldn’t make myself tired. I end up dropping my 2 teammates and cross the line in 35:08. I ended up 3rd in the race and got the last t-shirt they handed out. The following week I got sick and I don’t think I broke :36 the rest of the year.

    It took me 3 more years to break that PR and I’ve had other memorable races, like finally breaking 3 hours. However, no race has ever felt as effortless as that 10K. When I think about how I want to feel in an upcoming race, I always think about that race.

  • #13727

    ccbrian4
    Member

    Mine would be the Turket Trot 5 mile race I ran this past Thanksgiving. I wasn’t expecting much, since I hadn’t trained all that much since running the Army 10-Miler in October and my wife had our first child just a few days earlier. Everything just clicked and I ran 29:18, a 54 second PR. The worst part of my race is often my kick, but in this race there was a gradual downhill about a half mile from the finish and I managed to kick hard and catch one guy in front of me and if the race had been 10 yards longer Iwould have caught the next guy too.

  • #13728

    Peter
    Member

    I have run more than a few track races, and a fair amount of road races in 25 years of running. My PR’s of 4:26 for 1600m and 34:41 for 10K roads are impressive, but were both done almost 23 years ago. Even more recent runs like my 3:06 marathon debut are pretty good for an ‘old’ man of 40. Like most people who’ve already posted, my most memorable race was not my fastest time, but one that set the tone for what I hoped my running style would be.

    Junior year, Cross Country Sectionals, we really didn’t have a prayer of going to state, as a team, and individually, chances were slim and none, with 1:53, 4:12 and 9:20 guys. Still we had an opportunity to make some noise. The night before the race, we got 1-2 inches of snow, slush and ice in Madison, so we had to move from our normal course at Yahara (now a landfill) to across the road at the Golf Course. I was toying w/ the idea of going out hard and hanging on, or running w/ my two teammates and trying to run even splits. I told them I’d run w/ them, then took off like a rocket. 400 yards into the race, I realized this was stupid, and literally stopped and waited for them to catch up. We were probably in the bottom 1/4 of runners at 1/2 mile, but started picking off people in big bunches by running steady. At two miles, we had passed probably 40 runners, and were around 15th place. We passed a few more runners, then got to the top of the final hill (last .4 of a mile is all downhill), and I could see 4th 5th and 6th place runners, still kinda far ahead. I got as close as 6th, before finishing 7th in 17:12 for 5k (top 3 made it to state that year, regardless of teams that went). Only one team went to state from each sectional. Our top 3 runners (all in top 10)influenced who went to state, as we finished ahead of Memorials’ #3,4 and 5 runners, so East’s team actually went to state instead, even though Memorial was the huge favorite, and went 1-2 in the individual race.

    2 weeks later, I ran the same strategy in USTFA state meet, and finished in the top 25 in a faster time. These races told me that picking out your goal pace and sticking to it was the best way to run your best, regardless of finishing place. I’m not always successful with it, but it is always my goal.

  • #13729

    Zeke
    Member

    2 weeks later, I ran the same strategy in USTFA state meet.

    Does this mean you sprinted the first 400 then stopped, again?

  • #13730

    Peter
    Member

    No, it means I ran at a steady pace throughout the race and picked off many people the last two miles. 😳 Sorry about that Zeke…

  • #13731

    Anonymous

    1:19:39 – half marathon 😉

  • #13732

    born2run
    Member

    Mother’s Day 5K (last year). I was aiming for a sub-20:00 finish, but I haven’t done any speed work during the winter/early spring, so didn’t know what to expect for the race.

    Started the race with a friend in the middle of the pack (400+ runners). After 1/4 mile, it felt really slow, so wished my friend good luck and I pressed on. Had to run around a lot of people the first 1.5 miles, which too more out of me than I expected. Finally got in a nice pace/groove and went with it. Watch time crossing the finish line was 20:06, but clock time was 20:10. Satisfy with either time because both are PR’s. Also knew that I had a sub-20:00 in me, but didn’t achieve it because of poor pacing at the beginning.

  • #13733

    Anonymous

    Nice 1/2 Slim I know mthat hand writing from a mile away 😉 How the Hell are Ya!

    Woody

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