Fort2Base again - I have so much invested in this race now and can't believe I've been involved with the program for three years! When I first ran the 10 Nautical Mile race in 2011, it was the furthest I had ever run and took me all summer to train for. Last year, my dad and I ran the 3 Nautical Mile race together as our first joint event. And now, I tackled the 10NM again - and won.
You may recall that I run the event's ambassador program and blogger outreach initiative. This means my race was free, but the opinions are, as always, all mine.
My sister picked up my packet downtown, so that was easy for me ... This morning, I roused at 3:30 and made the hour drive north to the parking lot before boarding the first bus to the start line. I was at the start line with an hour to spare and was the first to use the port-o-potties. Already winning, in my opinion. I met up with Erin and Valerie and started the race with them promptly at 7 a.m.
flow" for the first time. It's a state in which you're totally engrossed in an activity and feel like you could go on forever. My pace picked up, my breathing slowed and I passed the 9:30 pace group like it's hot. I chased down runner after runner and felt awesome. I caught up to and then passed the 9:00 pace group around the ninth mile and tried to stay ahead. There were aid stations every two miles with bathrooms, gatorade and water.
The flow broke down somewhere around 10 miles, right before hitting Hero Hill. I had to walk part of it and felt gassed, even though I had been eating my homemade running fuel throughout. I think the 8:30 miles in 80-degree heat caught up with me.
The finish line felt awesome. Two years later, the thrill of my accomplishment is still there. I clocked a 1:42:41, which is a PR over my time two years ago (ever so slightly). I feel OK about this because I didn't train in the same way I did the first go around. It's amazing for me to think how far I've come in two years. I remember that bus ride over to the start line the first year and the anxiety I felt rising in the middle of my chest - would I finish? What would I do if I had to wimp out? I push through pain and a bonk in 2011, but the exhilaration at the end was just as intense this year as in the beginning. Pure pride, pure joy.
I hung around for a while and eventually got lost on the way back to our cars with Nicole. She was a good sport about it, though, as we took a cab back.
Overall, I think this race keeps getting better each year. The course is well marked and everything moved smoothly throughout the day. I liked the shirts the previous years better, because they were quarter-zip pull overs, but that's not really practical in August. I wish the date didn't move every year because it's difficult to plan for, but the Navy calls the shots there, so it is what it is. The medal is BALLER though, and super heavy. Napoleon needed a little assistance in modeling it today, but the fake bacon helps.
Time: 1:42:41 for 11.5 miles
Cost: Free for me, as low as $45 for the 10NM and $25 for the 3NM
Pros: Access to a place civilians normally don't go, well-run race, great post-race goodies, really nice medals
Cons: A long day with the off-site parking, floating race date each year, spectators have to take a bus on base from a nearby parking lot