I started the race out strong with a 7:14 first mile split. I knew the large hill would be coming between mile one and two so I tried to conserve some energy. I was able to climb up the hill without too much problem...yes, I am admitting that hill repeats are beneficial! For most of the race I was playing leap frog with "red sports bra" girl. The course was an out and back and sometime around mile two "red sports bra" girl's friend shouted out "get her". I of course knew she was referring to me because I had taken the lead in our leap frog game. Between mile two and the finish, "red sports bra" girl took back the lead. As I was coming around the corner toward the finish I set my eyes on her and ran my heart out to pass her at the end. Funny thing is I didn't realize I had also passed Darlene at this point until she yelled out "go Jodi". I crossed the line in 23:18 right before "red sports bra" girl. She thanked me for pushing her out there (she set a good 2 minute PR today). Always a great feeling to help a fellow runner out! I walked over and dropped my 36th overall place card in the 35-39 age group bucket. I noticed right away that I was first. Fast forward to Darlene and I running a cool down mile and the age group buckets got knocked over by a gust of wind and the cards went flying. I didn't think anything of it until we were at the awards ceremony and they announced the top 3 in my age group and my name wasn't announced at all. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had seen the girl they gave first place to finishing her race while Darlene and I were doing our cool down. I had also seen the girls they gave second and third to finishing their races as well. Darlene and I went and talked to the guy in charge. I explained the situation. Yep, I was 36th overall and they gave first place in my age group to the 78th finisher overall (oops, I would say we had a bit of a problem there). He got all of my information and will be re-checking all of the place cards, updating and correcting the information and mailing me my first place age group award. Darlene and I were both bummed out that we didn't have a picture with me and my medal. Fortunately, Darlene was thinking on her feet and realized she had also placed first in her age group, yeah Darlene, so she let me "borrow" her medal for the photo!
Me with "my" first place age group finish medal
While I didn't run a PR today (my PR is 23:01 on a pancake flat course during marathon training back in March), I am very pleased with how I did. I was amazed how good my legs felt today after running an 11 miler yesterday at 9:02 pace. I do believe I am getting stronger by the day! Looking forward to seeing what I can do at the Detroit 1/2!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!