Greetings all. Today was a really special day because I had the opportunity to run for a team in the Tulsa Zoo Run 10K. The team was cleverly named 796.42 by yours truly. By the way, that team name is a reference to running according to the Dewey Decimal System. The team consisted of Brenda, Melissa, Kevin, April and I. I will attempt to recreate the day in this blog.
After several nice conversations with the team members, it was time to near the starting line. I suspect we all had some level of anxiety before the gun sounded to start the race. It took about twenty seconds to cross the start line which activated my timing chip. As usual, the race started off slow with plenty of traffic. One strategy I used was to find a fairly fast runner and get behind them and follow them through the masses. This strategy did work.
The course was beautiful and had very scenic surroundings thanks to the route going through the Oxley Nature Center. This was the first time I had seen the trail. My pace through the first Oxley Trail loop was medium and I ran a 26:00 5K. One interesting event of note was I saw my first runner running off to the woods to take an emergency restroom break. I had always heard of “runners trots” causing runners to exit the course temporarily. Hope that never happens to me.
Another event that happened at the 6K mark was my teammate Kevin getting confused on the signs and thinking that the race was ending. I remember being shocked at the speed at which he passed me and then I saw him sprinting and I was impressed. Unfortunately he could not keep that pace (nor could a Kenyan marathon runner). At the 7K mark I began picking up the pace and reached my pinnacle at the 9K mark. At this point I was running inside of the Zoo.
The final stretch consisted of me taking a right turn and seeing my mother and son along with other team member’s offspring cheering me on. That was an awesome experience that gave me the final giddy up to sprint for the finish line.
My time for the 10K was 51:17. I was very satisfied with this time because I had set a goal of 52 minutes or better. After I finished I was able to sit down and cheer on my teammates. Kevin came in next at a great pace. I was very impressed with how well he performed in the race. Kevin had little time to prepare and virtually ran the race without any practice. I could never had run a 10K race within his time range given the situation. I suspect he may try a race again sometime soon as a result of today.
Melissa was the next teammate to finish. I’m not sure if she was tired or not but she sure looked like she had another 10K in her. Great motivator, athlete, and teammate. Brenda was next to finish and had a really good final sprint to the finish line. She was able to achieve a goal that she had set prior to the race. Plus she was a great team leader. Tulsa Run here she comes. April came in next and did a great job for the team. Before the race, April had expressed some concerns and worries about the race. However, she had a very respectable time and it looked like she was very happy with the race and I agree with her.
One other item to note is my sister. Karen ran the 10K today and I am very proud of her. I was more proud of her than my finishing time. She puts so much effort into training and the race. She finished the race in 1hr 7 minutes.
In closing, I am very happy and proud of the team. Everyone did their best out on the course and that is all one can ask. I really enjoyed the bonding opportunity with my teammates and I hope that we are able to do this again sometime soon. Special thanks to my mother for watching all of the kids while we were running.