While not really anywhere near Waterloo, I spent this Memorial Weekend in Woodstock, NY visiting family and getting ready for the Woodstock Memorial Day 15K which was presented by the Onteora Road Runners.
The field of runners for the 15K was relatively small when compared to a NYRR race but was fairly well organized with a clearly marked course, police at most intersections, several water stations and best of all, a decent race tee shirt.
Hoping for a 1:05:00 PR I set out on a strong pace of 6:30/mile at the start. Knowing that the race was “very challenging” (read: lots of big and steep hills) I wanted to build a little cushion early in the race and on the flat sections. For the first mile or so I was able to keep the pace vehicle in sight, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.
As it turns out, the “flat sections” consist of the first half mile of the race and the last half mile of the race. Augh.
As the pace vehicle and lead pack slipped away I changed gears and focused on running my race. I knew early on that a PR wasn’t in the cards but tried to keep as near to a 7:00/mile pace as possible.
The roads twist, turn, zig and zag through some very scenic neighborhoods but all the while the hills came. What I lost on the way up the hills I tried to gain on the way down but by mile 6 I was starting to hurt as you can see from these splits:
Mile 1 - 6:50
Mile 2 - 7:05
Mile 3 - 7:03
Mile 4 - 7:02
Mile 5 - 7:04
Mile 6 - 7:22
Mile 7 - 7:34
Mile 8 - 7:33
Mile 9 - 7:10
Last Bit - 1:58
While shy of a PR I still feel as though I ran a strong race over a difficult course and was able to have a little left over for the finish with a time of 1:06:41 (watch time - official time not yet available).
Most importantly the Woodstock Memorial 15K gave me time to reflect on the veterans who have sacrificed so much for this country – particularly my grandfather (a World War II Marine who was lucky enough to survive the war and live a long life). His courage and the ultimate sacrifice that so many of our war heros have made over the centuries makes running up rolling hills along back back roads of