Name of the race: Fall Harvest Race
Where: Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY
Date: Nov 13, 2016
Time: 8:30 am
Distance: 7.5 miles
Terrain: Hilly with a 2-mile steep incline
Entry fee: $25
Swag: Long-sleeve cotton shirt
Post-race Food: Pasta salad, hamburger, hot dogs, water and Gatorade
Performance: Overall: 36/80; Gender: 15/50; Age (30-39): 3/9
Weather: 43 degrees, 56% humidity, winds 12 mph (didn’t notice it)
I signed up for this race on a lark. I needed to do a longer one and I knew the only way I would do it was if it were a race. It was cheap. Based on prior race results, I thought I had a good shot at getting an AG award. AND it was close (kinda) to my cousin’s house. The race was closer to her house in Chappaqua than to my house in Brooklyn, so it was a nice excuse to see her and her family.
I looked at the elevation map before I signed up and honest to God, it is deceptively HILLY. It looked like mostly flattish with small rolling hills, until you got to a big hill at the end. Instead it’s HILLS, HILLS, HILLS, HILLS until you get to the MARCH O’DEATH at the end. The morning of the race I told Ben my strategy was to run an 8:00 pace until the massive hill and at that point to hang onto whatever I could get.
I did okay for the first couple of miles, but the hills starting getting to me. I couldn’t quite remember the elevation profile that morning because I had looked at elevation some weeks before the race, so I vaguely remembered that “there was a large hill somewhere.” Well at Mile 3, as I ran up, I thought to myself, “This must be the large hill.” Nope. That was just the amuse bouche to the HILL O’DEATH that started at Mile 4.5. Just before Mile 4, there was another hill that confused me because I was like, “Why is there another killer hill here?” It wasn’t until I started on the HILL O’DEATH at Mile 4.5 that I realized that the epic journey in running hell had just started.
I can’t begin to describe how steep the road was, nor how unendingly long the climb. All I know is that I slowed to a crawl like the local runners sprightly and nimbly ran ahead of me like they were mountain goats. I felt like a giant ungainly tortoise. As another gray-haired lady passed me, Ben ever so helpfully said, “I’m pretty sure she’s not in your age group. She’s probably older than you.” As I staggered upwards toward the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I mean the stupid hill, I made peace with the notion that an AG award was out.
I was so happy when I was finally over that hill. It was pretty much downhill from there on out, so I tried to make up as much time as I could. My legs were pretty beat from climbing, so they weren’t moving as fast as I would have liked, but I did my best.
Much to my surprise, I actually did end up with 3rd place in my AG. Woot! I got a lovely glass tumbler. Yay! We keep breaking our drinking glasses, so we needed more. The other positive is that because I have never done a 7.5 mile race before, I got an automatic PR. I’m amused by races with odd distances. Maybe this will be my goal for 2017, to run as many races with odd distances as I can.