Sunday, January 14, 2018

Race Report: 2018 Bermuda Marathon

This morning, I finished the Bermuda Triangle Challenge by running the Bermuda Marathon.  After all-out efforts in the Front Street Mile and the Bermuda 10K, I decided to take it easy in the marathon.  For most people, that would mean doing some walking instead of running the whole way.  For me, it was the opposite.  I ran, but tried to stay within my comfort zone as much as I could.

The marathon started at 8:00, which was an hour earlier than yesterday’s 10K race.  The shuttle from my resort left at 6:30, which is also an hour earlier.  That meant I had to get up an hour earlier.

Today’s course started and finished in Hamilton, not far from the flag pole.  That’s within two blocks of where the Front Street Mile started and finished.

The course was a 13.1 mile loop that we ran twice.  After leaving Hamilton, we made our way to South Road, which we followed until we reached the east end of the island.  Then we followed Harrington Sound to Flatts Village.  Here, the course overlapped with the 10K route for about two miles.  We continued west along North Shore Road until we reached the northwest corner of the island.  Then we returned to Hamilton.  Then we did it all a second time.

Today was the warmest day of the weekend.  It was 70 degrees when the race started, and it was a bright sunny day.  It warmed up to 73 by the time I finished.

About five minutes before the race, once most of the runners were lined up to start, we got an official greeting from the town crier.

I started at a pace that felt fairly relaxed.  I went so far as to stay behind groups of slower runners instead of passing them.  I didn’t have a time goal.  I wanted to run a pace that I could sustain to the finish.  I haven’t done much running lately, and I did an all-out 10K yesterday.  I realized I can’t run as fast as I used to.

From the start, I noticed some soreness in the muscles around my hips.  That was a consequence of race-walking yesterday’s 10K race at a 10:32 pace.  Before long, the soreness in my hips went away.

As I reached the first mile marker, I had to resist the temptation to look at my watch.  I didn’t want to know what pace I was running.  The more I knew about my pace, the more tempted I would be to run too fast.  I wanted to be oblivious of my pace until the halfway mark, and just run by feel.

Just past the mile marker, we started up a tiring hill.  This course wasn’t as hilly as yesterday’s 10K, but it still had some hills.  I was tempted to take a walking break, but forced myself to run to the top.  At this point in the race, I wanted to establish a consistent rhythm.

By the middle of the second mile, I was already getting hot and sweaty.  In addition to the heat and sun, we had to contend with the usual island humidity.  It wasn’t that big a deal in the shorter races, but it was today.

Except for the start and finish in Hamilton, we were running on narrow two lane roads.  We stayed in the left lane, which was closed to traffic.  Aid stations were all on the left side.

In the fourth mile, I encountered another tiring hill.  I had looked at the elevation profile, so I knew this was the steepest hill on the course.  About halfway up the hill, I took a walking break.  Then I saw this church and stepped off the road to take a picture.

Just before the five mile mark, we turned to follow a rocky shoreline.  I had to cross the road to take pictures.

I saw a sign that read, “Devil’s Hole Hill.”  There was a hill, but it wasn’t as ominous as the sign makes it sound.

Somewhere between six and seven miles, the road started to look familiar.  This was the part of the course that overlapped the 10K course.  After making a couple of turns to run through Flatts Village, I saw a “4” painted on the road.  That was the four mile mark of the 10K course.

We were running along the north shore now and got more views of the coast.  We also passed lots of colorful buildings.  I love architecture of the British colonial islands.  This church is a good example.

The artwork on the T-shirt and medal featured this tower and bridge.

There was an early start for runners who needed extra time.  I saw someone I knew and walked for a few minutes so we could talk.  Then I had to force myself to run again.  I was already beginning to feel fatigued.

With about a mile and a half left in the first lap, I encountered a downhill section that was steep enough to make my quads sore.  That didn’t bode well for the second lap.  At 12 miles, I encountered another hill that made me take a short walking break.

As I got back into Hamilton, I started looking for buildings I recognized.  I saw the Hamilton Princess, where we picked up our race packets on Friday.  I noticed for the first time that it was slightly uphill for the next few blocks.  I would have to run that again near the end of the race.

As I got onto Front Street, I briefly felt a cool breeze.  I desperately needed that, but I only felt the wind for a few seconds.  Next, I was diverted onto a side street for a short out-and-back.  Having to do that so close to the end of the loop seemed cruel.  They must have needed that to make the distance right.

Up to this point, I had avoided looking at my watch.  Then I got near a runner whose watch was continuously calling out the time.  “Two hours, one minute, seven seconds.”

After turned back onto Front Street, I reached the “bird cage.”  This was one of our turnaround points in the Front Street Mile on Friday.  Here, the half marathoners stayed to the right to finish, and the marathoners kept left and went under the Start banner again to begin the second loop.

My time for the first half was 2:02:48.  That was faster than I expected, but in a way it was disappointing.  I felt way too tired for this point in the race.  If my first half had been under two hours, I could say, “No wonder.  I started way too fast.”  Instead, I felt like I didn’t have a good excuse for feeling as tired as I did.  The second half was going to be brutal.

No sooner did I start the second loop than the field really thinned out.  For every marathoner, there were about 10 half marathoners. They were no longer with us.  I was still on Front Street, but it seemed surprisingly quiet.  Shops were closed, because it was Sunday.  Most of the spectators were on the other side of the start/finish area.  I could only see three runners ahead of me.  As we started reaching more turns, I would only see one.

Just past 14 miles, I encountered a familiar hill.  On my first lap, I resisted the temptation to walk.  This time, I walked for about a minute.

In the next mile, I passed the runner who was in front of me.  I wouldn’t see another runner for the next five miles.  We were on a downhill section, and I started to feel better.  Maybe the second lap wouldn’t be that tough after all.

Just before 15 miles, a race volunteer told me to keep left.  He wasn’t just telling me to stay in the left lane.  He wanted me all the way to the left side of the road.  I quickly realized why as a car in the left lane passed me from behind.  The whole road was now open to traffic.

We were on narrow two lane roads with no shoulders and very few sidewalks.  Because we were on the left, cars in our lane passed us from behind.  This was nerve-wracking to say the least, and I still had 11 miles to go.

I was sufficiently fatigued that I could easily have a lapse in concentration and wander too far into the road.  I was reminded of that each time a car went by.  Sometimes I heard them approaching.  Other times, they surprised me.  The drivers here are pretty good at looking for pedestrians and giving them room.  Even still, it made me nervous and contributed to my mental fatigue.  I once again felt like the rest of the race would be a struggle.

I started to notice some soreness in my left adductor.  It didn’t feel like an injury, but I always worry when this muscle feels sore.  I injured it two years ago and don’t want to go through that again.  I suspect it’s because the muscles around my hips were so fatigued from yesterday’s race.  Those muscles usually provide stability.  Now other muscles, including my adductors, had to take up the slack.  Maybe an all-out race-walking effort the day before this race wasn’t such a good idea.

As I clicked off the miles, I went back to ignoring my watch.  I just wanted to finish at whatever pace I could manage.  I didn’t think it would be helpful to know my individual mile times.

As I reached Harrington Sound, I once again felt a cool breeze.  Again, it didn’t last long enough.  We had strong winds the previous two days.  Where was the wind today?

In Flatts Village, there’s a sharp left turn.  I remembered there was a hill right after the turn.  This hill isn’t actually that tiring.  I was now on a section of road that I had run twice before, but that hill was the only thing that looked familiar.  I was in survival mode.  I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings.

Ironically, I saw something on my second lap that I didn’t notice on the first lap.  I had to cross the road and stop to take a picture of the beautiful turquoise water in this bay.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.

As I resumed running, I quickly regretted that stop.  My legs suddenly felt much stiffer, and I realized I wasn’t going as fast.

I saw a sign that read, “Hamilton 6.4 km.”  That didn’t seem right.  I had about 6.4 miles to go.  Maybe there was a more direct route then the one we were taking.

When I reached the 20 mile sign, I finally looked at my watch.  My time was 3:10 and change.  I was too fatigued to figure out how my pace in the second lap compared to my pace in the first loop.  All I knew was that the previous seven miles took about 68 minutes.  My pace was still better than 10 minutes per mile.  I wondered if I could finish the last 6.2 in another 68 minutes.  Yesterday, I walked 6.2 miles in 1:05:26.  I was no longer confident that I could run faster than that.  I was really struggling to keep moving, and the soreness in my left adductor was always there.

I eventually saw a runner up ahead.  For miles, I felt like I was alone on the road.  There were lots of volunteers and a surprising number of spectators for so few runners.  Still, it was a relief to see another runner.  I didn’t want to pass him, but then he started walking.  When I passed him, I told him he was the first runner I had seen in five miles.  He told me I’d be passing more soon.  He was right.  At this point lots of runners were walking.

I saw the sign that indicated we were entering Devonshire Parish.  When I saw that sign yesterday, I knew I was in the parish where I would finish.  Today, it was just a reminder that I still had a long way to go to get back to Hamilton.

At 23 miles, I looked at my watch again.  I was still averaging 10 minutes per mile.  That was a pleasant surprise.  Mile 24 was also under 10 minutes.  Then I reached a hill that made me take a walking break.

Now I saw a sign that read, “Hamilton 3.2 km.”  This one seemed about right.  I knew I was getting close to the downhill section that felt uncomfortable the first time.  I was tempted to take a walking break going downhill, but then I would also have to walk the tiring uphill section that followed.  Going downhill didn’t bother my quads this time.  Maybe it’s because I was going slower.

The last mile was much hillier than I remembered.  I had to take walking breaks on each hill.  Finally, I saw the Hamilton Princess again.  I knew it was a half mile from there to the finish.  I struggled up the small incline to get to Front Street.  I had to take another walking break.

When I reached the out-and-back, I was much more cognizant of the uphill grade going away from Front Street.  It wasn’t steep, but I had nothing left.  I regained my composure going downhill and ran to the finish.  I finished in 4:12:38.

In addition to my finisher medal for the marathon, I got another medal for completing the Bermuda Triangle Challenge.  Having done marathons on as many as five consecutive days, I didn’t think doing a mile, a 10K, and a marathon would be that tough.  What made it challenging for me was doing the first two races as fast as I could.  That definitely made today’s race tougher.

After the race, I was still noticing my left adductor.  I think it was worse after the Hawaii Bird Conservation Marathon in December, but it felt fine within a few days.  I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll have a similar experience this time.  In the meantime, I’ll have to be real careful with it.

Race Statistics
Distance:  26.2 miles
Time:  4:12:38
Average Pace:  9:38
Lifetime marathons/ultras: 348
Countries: 29

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Race Report: Bermuda 10K

This morning, I race-walked the Bermuda 10K.  This was the second race of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge.  It was a tough turnaround after doing an all-out mile last night.

The race started at 9:00.  The shuttle leaving my resort left at 7:30, so I didn’t have to get up too early, but my body still isn’t used to this time zone.  I didn’t eat any breakfast.  I didn’t feel like I needed any food for such a short race, but I could have used some caffeine.

When I got up, it was 69 degrees.  I was surprised how little variation I’ve seen in temperature.  How hot or cold it feels depends mostly on whether it’s windy.

We were dropped off at the entrance to the National Sports Centre in Devonshire Parish.  On the way in, we walked by a monument that listed the names of athletes who have represented Bermuda in the Olympics.  I assume this was their training center, as there was a track, a soccer field, and swimming lanes.  Before the race started, we sat in the grandstands overlooking the track.  We were on high ground, and I could really feel the wind.

About 30 minutes before the race, I made a bathroom stop, dropped off my gear bag, and started walking to the starting line, which was just outside the sports centre.  The field included both runners and walkers.  I assumed I would be slower than most of the runners, but faster than all of the other walkers, as I was probably the only one race-walking.  Accordingly, I lined up somewhere in the middle of the field.

The course was a single loop.  After leaving the sports centre, we followed Middle Road to Flatts Village, and then followed North Shore Road back to the National Sports Centre, where we finished on a track.  I heard rumors it was hilly, but I never looked at an elevation profile.

My previous best time for walking 10K was 1:08:31.  That wasn’t in a race, but it’s an average pace of 11:01 per mile.  I was hoping to improve on that today.

When the race started, I had a hard time gauging how fast I was going.  My fast mile last night probably distorted my sense of pace.  The 10K had a downhill start, which also distorted my sense of pace.  I aimed for an effort that was somewhere between how I start a marathon and how I started the Front Street Mile.

Although the first mile was mostly downhill, there were a couple spots where it briefly turned uphill.  The first time I started up a hill, I quickly felt out of breath.  It was similar to how I felt during the Front Street Mile.  That told me I was starting too fast, so I backed off a little in my effort.

I finished the first mile in 10:21.  That was much faster than I expected, but it was a downhill mile.  At first, the second mile was also downhill.  I was probably halfway through that mile before having to go uphill again.  Then I reached the first long and tough hill.  I knew I would slow down, but I expected the runners around me to slow down more.  I told myself I should be working hard enough to pass a few of them.

Just before the end of a long hill, I reached the end of the second mile.  I slowed to 10:50, but that was still faster than my PR pace.  The question was, “Could I sustain this effort?”

Almost immediately after leaving the National Sports Centre, I stopped feeling the wind.  Instead, I started to notice the high humidity.  I was getting sweaty, but I only had 4.2 miles to go.

Early in the third mile, I reached the first of two aid stations.  They had both water and Gatorade.  I didn’t care which one I got.  I just wanted something to drink.  I reached in, grabbed a cup, stepped around the runners, and drank it without slowing down.  In a race like this, I couldn’t afford to lose time at aid stations.

Mile three was rolling.  There were even a few relatively flat sections, where I could get into a consistent rhythm.  I sped up to 10:36.  I started to get more confident that I could sustain my fast pace.  There wasn’t a 5K marker, but extrapolating from my three mile split, I probably reached halfway in about 32:51.

We were now going through Flatts Village, so I saw more homes.  In general, this course showcased the terrain of the northeast corner of the island as well as some beautiful homes.  We had good crowd support throughout the race.  Everyone comes out to support the race.

As a race-walker, I’m somewhat of a novelty, so people noticed me.  I heard a lot of comments from the crowd about how fast I was walking.  Once, I heard someone say, “He was race-walking last night too.”  I also got those comments from other runners. “You’re the race-walker.  I saw you last night.”

Early in the fourth mile, we came alongside the water’s edge.  I knew we were at the lowest elevation on the course, so we would have to climb to get back to where we started.  As I began a small hill, I passed a runner.  Farther ahead, there was a steeper hill, and most of the runners were taking walking breaks.  I passed them all.  The next time the road leveled off, a group of runners passed me.  I dug deeper to stay with them.  I expected runners to pass me where it was downhill, but I needed to hold my position where it was flat.

Mile four had a slight uphill trend, but I nevertheless sped up to 10:20.  At this point, I knew I should be able to set a PR.  The only thing that could stop me was a long steep hill that slowed me substantially.  That was still a possibility. There was a lot of downhill in the first two miles. I braced myself for an equal amount of uphill in the last two.  It turned out not to be as bad as I feared.

Mile five had an uphill trend, but none of it was steep.  Going uphill, I once again passed the group of runners I had passed early in mile four.  They never passed me again.  Whenever the road leveled off, I fought like mad to keep up with the runners around me.  Going uphill, I passed the walkers and tried hard to also pass a few of the runners.  I couldn’t quite pass any of them.

I slowed a little in that mile, but still walked it in 10:40.  I had a huge cushion going into the last mile, but I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Would it be one long steep hill?  Almost immediately, the road turned uphill.  I worked hard.  My gait changed from short rapid strides to long powerful strides.  I was really working my arms.  I knew the hill was slowing me down, but I didn’t know how much.

The road leveled off again.  That was a huge relief. I switched back to a rapid cadence.  I heard one of the runners in front of me ask a spectator if there were more big hills.  She said there was a slight incline coming up later, but it wasn’t as bad.  You never know if spectators are giving you good information or painting a rosy picture.  This one was giving us accurate information.

We made a left turn onto the road that would lead us back to the National Sports Centre.  The grade was level.  Ahead of me, I could see runners making another left turn.  I recognized the road.  This was where our bus turned before dropping us off this morning.  I knew it was uphill, but I didn’t think it was too far.

I fought my way up the hill.  Then I discovered it was a “false summit.”  The road leveled off briefly before turning uphill again.  The last part was steeper, and I didn’t know how much longer I could keep up my effort.  Just before the top, I reach the six mile mark.  That was the toughest mile, but I was still faster than 11 minutes.  Now I just had to finish.  A PR was guaranteed.  We had a steep downhill before turning to enter the sports centre.  Then I saw the entrance to the track.  As I got onto the track, I had only about 100 meters to go, and I had no trouble maintaining my pace.

I finished in 1:05:28.  That’s a walking PR by more than three minutes.  A volunteer at the finish line read my bib number, so another could write it down.  Then she asked, “Are you the race-walker?”

The finisher medal for the Bermuda 10K was similar to the medal for the Front Street Mile.  They both had the same flowers at the top.  Instead of downtown Hamilton landmarks, this one features the grandstand and track.

If my estimate of my halfway split was correct, I had negative splits.  That's in spite of the first half being net downhill and the second half being net uphill.  Apparently, I didn't start too fast.  I just underestimated how fast I could walk in a race as short as 5K.

Post-race food was sparse, but there was no shortage of beverages.  My favorite was a “ginger cola.”  It’s like a cross between Coke and ginger ale.  I also picked up a bottle of water to drink later.

After retrieving my gear bag, I bumped into some friends who were staying at the same resort.  A few of us walked to Hamilton, which was about a mile away.  There, we ate lunch at an Irish pub and visited a few shops.  Then we took a bus back to the resort.

I’ll probably relax at the resort for the rest of the day.  This race took a lot out of me.  The marathon is tomorrow, but my goal race was the 10K.  Tomorrow, I plan to run, but I’m going to stay within my comfort zone.  Two down, one to go.

Race Statistics
Distance:  10 kilometers
Time:  1:05:28
Average Pace:  10:32 per mile (6:33 per kilometer)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Race Report: Front Street Mile

Today, I race-walked the Front Street Mile in Hamilton, Bermuda.  This was the first race in a three day series called the Bermuda Triangle Challenge.  The other two races are the Bermuda 10K on Saturday and the Bermuda Marathon on Sunday.

I’ve wanted to do the Bermuda Marathon for several years, but there were always scheduling conflicts.  There are several other popular races on the same weekend.  In the past, I always assumed I would just do the marathon.  I’m sometimes content to run a marathon with a goal of simply finishing, but I’ve always felt you should go all out in shorter races.  I couldn’t imagine doing an all-out mile and an all-out 10K and then being able to run a marathon without a day off.

All that changed when I took up race-walking.  It doesn’t take as long to recover from an all-out walking effort.  That made this series seem much more feasible.  I didn’t consider, however, that the Front Street mile is an evening race, and the Bermuda 10K is a morning race.  That won’t give me much recovery time between these two races.

I flew to Bermuda on Thursday, arriving in the afternoon.  There isn’t much lodging in Hamilton, so I stayed at one of the island’s many resorts.  There were three resorts with discounted rates and shuttle service for the races.  My resort was on the opposite end of the island from the airport, so I had to take a taxi.  Renting a car wasn’t an option.  Non-Bermuda residents aren’t allowed to own, rent, or drive four-wheeled vehicles.

After checking in at the resort, I walked down to their private beach.  It was only about 70 degrees, so there weren’t many people at the beaches.

From there, it was a short walk to the Horseshoe Bay beach, which is one of Bermuda’s most popular public beaches.

I wanted to get in a workout before dinner.  I noticed on the ride from the airport that the roads are narrow and don’t always have sidewalks.  I was also running out of daylight, so I went back to the resort to do some walking on one of their treadmills.

The resort has several restaurants, but some of them were closed for the season.  That didn’t stop me from finding one with pizza.

I often have trouble sleeping away from home, particularly the first night.  This trip was no exception.  What was different, however, was that I didn’t have to get up early for a race.  The Front Street Mile is an evening race, so I had the luxury of sleeping in.  That helped.

I spent most of the day relaxing at the resort.  I had breakfast in their ocean-view restaurant, did another easy workout on the treadmill, and had a late lunch at a sports bar next to the golf course.

At 4:00, I caught a shuttle from the resort to Hamilton.  The race didn’t begin until 7:00, but packet pickup was from 3:30 to 6:30.  I received my race packet for all three races, and then had to hang around in Hamilton until it was time for the race to start.  This was one thing I didn’t like about this series.  It seemed like I was in Hamilton way too early.

My race packet included my race bib, plus four T-shirts.  We got one for each race, plus an additional T-shirt for doing the Bermuda Triangle Challenge.  They didn’t have a formal bag check, but they had a tent where you could leave a bag.  I needed to drop off a bag with my T-shirts, plus my warm-up pants.

After packet pickup, I walked about half a mile to where the race started.  Most of the shops were already closing, so there wasn’t much to do but wait.  I saw a woman sitting in a folding chair on the sidewalk.  She had an extra folding chair that she was already saving for someone.  Her name is Nikki, and she’s a Bermuda resident who came out to watch the race.  She let me sit down next to her, and we talked for about half an hour.

I eventually got up and walked to some public bathrooms that were a block or two away.  After making my final bathroom stop, I located the tents for the baggage drop and waited at some nearby benches.  The temperature was about 70 degrees, but there was a strong wind, so I didn’t want to take off my warn-up pants until it was time to line up.  I regretted not bringing a jacket.  It was nice weather for racing, but I felt cold sitting around with the wind blowing off the harbor.

In addition to runners who were doing the Bermuda Triangle Challenge (or Half Challenge), the Front Street mile also includes elite athletes and local high school and middle school athletes.  The race was run in give waves.  I was in the first wave, along with everyone else who was doing the full challenge.  People doing the half challenge were in the second wave, followed by the local non-elite athletes, the elite women, and the elite men.

When I entered these races, the registration pages for the 10K and marathon asked if you were walking or running.  The registration page for the mile didn’t have that option.  It said this race wasn’t for walkers, and went on to indicate the time limit was 12 minutes.  I don’t think they were anticipating race-walkers who could easily break 12 minutes walking.

This was the first time I’ve race-walked an official one mile race, but I did two time trials at a track when I was young.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete with those times, so this wasn’t a PR attempt.  It was more of a tune-up for tomorrow’s 10K race.  I was curious to know how fast I could walk an all-out mile.  I expected to be somewhere between 10 and 11 minutes, but beyond that, I really didn’t have a clue.  I’ve been training for longer races.  I have good endurance, but I don’t have the same speed I had in my youth.  Most of my recent workouts have been on a treadmill.  I sometimes pick up the pace near the end of a workout, but I’ve never been able to get any faster than a 10:30 pace, even briefly.  I assumed I would be held back by my mechanics, but would have the endurance to sustain whatever pace I could manage.

The course was an out-and-back along Front Street in Hamilton.  We started and finished at the flag pole.  There were two 180 degree turns.  I lined up in the back of the corral for wave one, knowing I would be slower than most, if not all, of the runners.

While we were waiting for the start, one of the race officials came by and told us that even though we were still going to run a 10K and a marathon, this was a fast race, and we should run as fast as we could.  I still planned to walk the race, but I was more determined than ever to walk fast enough that I wouldn’t be the last finisher in my wave.

I waited until I crossed the line before starting my watch.  By then, I was accelerating furiously, so it was awkward to interrupt my arm swing to start my watch.  I didn’t hear the familiar beep.  I looked down to see if my watch started.  It was too dark to see it clearly.

After crossing the line, I launched myself into the fastest pace I could manage.  Within a block or two, I was getting badly out of breath.  Clearly, I was wrong about my mechanics holding me back more than my aerobic capacity.  For reasons I don’t fully understand, I can walk much faster outdoors than I can on a treadmill.  I started at a pace that was unsustainable, even for a mile.

By the time we reached the first of two 180 degree turns, I realized I was in last place.  Shortly after the turn, I passed the three slowest runners from my wave.

As I got back to where we started, I heard the announcer say, “This is a run, not a walk.”  I don’t think that comment was aimed specifically at me, but I went back through the start/finish area just after he said that.  The runners in wave two were still waiting to start.  They cheered for me as I went by.  I also got cheers from the other waves, including the elite athletes in waves four and five.

After the first turn, we were going into the wind.  I had slowed a little since the start, but it was still a strain to maintain my pace.  Before I reached the second turnaround, I passed another runner.  I passed a fifth runner on the turn.

I was relieved to no longer be walking into the wind.  I only had a few blocks to go, but I was severely short of breath.  I could see the lead runners from the second wave approached from the opposite direction.  They started four minutes after me, but they weren’t that far back.  It seemed inevitable that a few of them would pass me.  As I went through a well-lit area, I looked at my watch.  It still read “0:00.”  It never started.

I got within a half block of the finish. Nobody from the second wave had caught me yet.  I thought I would hold them off.  Then the first two runners of the “Half Challenge” passed me.

As I neared the line, I paid close attention to the clock.  The last number I saw on the clock before  crossing the line was 9:44.  Whoa!  Clearly, I can walk much faster in a race than I can on the treadmill.  I wouldn’t find out my official time until a few hours later.  It said my gun time was 9:43.8, and my chip time was 9:38.9.

I wanted to get back to the hotel as quickly as I could, so I could shower, eat dinner, finish this race report, and get to bed.  I have another race tomorrow morning, and I wanted to get enough sleep.

There’s normally a cab stand on Front Street, but the street was still blocked off for the race.  The next closest cab stand was four blocks away, in front of City Hall.  After retrieving my gear bag, I started walking toward city hall.  One block from Front Street, I saw a group of people getting out of the cab.  I waited for them.  The cabbie asked me if I needed a cab.  That chance encounter saved me several minutes, plus a few blocks of walking.

I had dinner at a sports bar at the resort.  I almost have time to get a full night’s sleep.  Tomorrow morning is the Bermuda 10K.  My goal is to set a race-walking PR for 10K.  One race down, two to go.

Race Statistics
Distance:  1 mile
Time:  9:38.9
Average Pace:  9:38.9