Part of the 2013 goals is to participate in at least one organized running event per month. Keeping in mind all the other crazy running goals the Cochran’s have in mind for this year, we chose the Sidney Lanier Bridge Run (5K) in Brunswick, GA as our February run. Why? Because who isn’t drawn in by the claim that this is Georgia’s toughest 5K.
Since Clayton is the only one in the family that doesn’t run with Garmin I kept reminding him everything I had read about the race…..only 3/4 of a mile of the race is flat, 6% grade uphill and downhill on either side, and somewhere I had convinced myself that the race was two down and backs of the length of the bridge and subsequently I convinced everyone else of this as well.
I remember standing at the starting line with Greg to my right and Clayton to the right of him. The guy to the left of me had turned to the guy behind him and said “I don’t even know what kind of time to run on this course….like how much should I add to my PR”. Next thing I know I’m engaged in conversation with this guy about how last year’s winner ran it in 17 flat thus he should add somewhere around 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, blah blah blah which is really strange for me because I don’t usually talk candidly with people I don’t know. I mean anyone at the original Loopfest can confirm this as I spent the majority of the time handing with the kiddos. (By the way, that guy ended up wining his age group.)
Next thing I know the gun goes off and I spend the next 29 minutes and 30 seconds thinking about how much cooler 5K’s were when I could run them in a 7 minute pace…..somewhere about 30 lbs ago. 😦 The only thing different about running this race other than running slow was that Greg decided to run with me.
The idea of running with someone in a race is very foreign to me. My XC coach was anti-run together even in practice (he would stagger start us) so even training side by side with someone feels weird. I realize now that it’s difficult enough to maneuver through a race of 1000 or so runners let alone maneuvering as a pair.
Top of the bridge was the best. A temporary reprieve from hell although Greg was a little surprised by how heavy I breathe when something is that taxing. I think he might have even been alarmed…at least this is what I gathered from the frequency with which he kept turning to look at me. As for me I was all about the straight ahead. Focus and get it over with.
Somewhere along the way of the first rise of the bridge I realized that it was only possible for it to be a one time down and back of the bridge and hoped Clayton had figured it out as well. Speaking of Clayton, as we were about halfway down the backside of the bridge we caught a glimpse of Clayton already going back up. Greg had counted him at 33rd place overall and of course we screamed at him.
The second climb on the way back was equally as sucky as the first climb. Really discouraging was the fact that I would see people stop and walk and then catch back up to me and even pass by. I know that in longer races it’s okay to walk the hill and even recommended however my heart couldn’t bring myself to do it. This was only a 5K. No way. Not walking. Not now.
The last downhill surprised Greg. I gave it all I had at times even hitting below a 6 minute pace. I mean what the heck, it WAS downhill after all!
Out of 908 runners (the walkers were separate) Greg and I finished 327 and 328th respectively with an overall time of 29:30. Clayton whom we spotted in 33rd place on the out and back, finished 15th overall in a time of 20:11, 3rd place in the 15-19 year old age group. Yeah, yeah! That’s MY kid!