Saturday, November 22, 2014

Richmond 8K and Marathon Spectating is Hard Work

Zach had been asking to run the Richmond 8K for quite a while so when JD signed up for the marathon we decided that it was a perfect opportunity for all of us to do it.  Nic was pretty excited to do his first "big city" race as well.  Race morning was pretty cold, but we were staying only about 3 blocks from the start line.  We left the hotel at 6:30 am and had  plenty of time to drop our bags at the UPS trucks and then stay warm near a building until it was time to line up.
Huddling to stay warm before we lined up
We lined up around 6:45, listened to announcements and the National Anthem, and then ditched our throwaway gear.

 Zach had his RoadID bracelet on so the plan was for him to run at his own pace and try for an age group award while Nic and I ran together.  Zach would wait for us at the finish line.

The gun went off, and Zach took off at a pretty good pace.  Nic was pretty excited as well and ran the first mile in a strong 9:24.  His big goal was just to run sub-50 minutes so I figured that we were good as long as he stayed consistent.  He got a stitch and was really struggling with how cold his hands were in mile 2.  He had a really hard time so we slowed down a bit, but he stayed with it and came through the mile at 10:25.  He bounced back big time at mile 3 and ran a 9:25. He was really excited when he saw the three mile mark and didn't want to stop for any water along the way.  I had been trying to talk with him throughout the race, but he asked me to stop talking because he needed to focus.  He saw another little boy that had passed him at mile 2, and he made it his goal to pass him back.  So I followed his lead, and we  picked up the pace a bit through the fourth mile to finish that in a 9:20 pace.  After mile 4, I reminded him that there was a nice downhill finish and that we really needed to get going if he was going to finish sub-50.
Nic locked in at mile 4

  I knew that he was well under 50 minutes if he just held his pace, but he had asked me to push him in the last mile so I wanted to see what he could do.  He really poured it on in that last down hill for an 8:20 pace in the last mile.  He passed a ton of people.  Later we found out that he finished 5/17 in his age group which means that he will receive an age group award since Richmond does top 5 in age groups.  So proud of him for his amazing effort.  He smashed his goal and ended with a 46:42 (851/3177 overall and 488/1129 men).
Nic finishing strong!

Meanwhile, we met Zach at the finish line.  He said that he had been standing there forever.  I was shocked to find out that he had finished in 42:48!!!  He ran almost perfect negative splits (8:46; 8:48; 8:39; 8:31; 7:55).  He ran a terrifically paced race on his own by checking the his birthday present Garmin 10.  His race was good for 3/17 in his age group; 496/3177 overall; 325/1129 men.  Amazing day for both of the boys!!!

Zach racing to an 8K PR!
The boys got cold pretty quickly post race so we grabbed some bagels and found the UPS trucks so I could get them layered up.
8K finishers!

We never did find the shuttle back to the start line so we ended up having to walk back to the hotel.  Zach was really cold, but we kept him moving and shoveled bagel in him until he felt better.  We dropped our stuff off in the hotel room quickly, grabbed some hot chocolate from a street vendor and hit the car to try to make it out to the mile 7 Starbucks party stop to see JD.  We were 1 mile away when we got turned around at the UofR campus due to football traffic.  At that point we were stuck going in circles, and I knew we would miss him there so I started making my way to the mile 13 party stop.  We finally popped out on the street alongside marathon runners.  As I was driving we passed the 4:15 pace group so I told the boys to start looking for dad.  Soon we spotted him and started honking and yelling out the window like crazy people.  Then we had to race through a few lights and squeal into a Walgreens parking lot so we could race across the street just in time to see him run through the party zone.  We exchanged a few quick words, and he looked good.  So back in the car to head to the mile 20 party zone.  We arrived at mile 20 with plenty of time as the 3:15 pace group was just coming through.  We set up and were cheering on runners when a spectator informed me that they were starting to tow cars from the lot that we were parked in even though we had been directed to park there for the party zone.  So the kids and I make a mad 3 block dash back to the car and move it to street parking and then run back to wait for JD again.  I told the kids to hang out at the bottom of the hill while I went to the top to see if I could see JD and run him down to the bottom.  Somehow I missed him coming through in a pack of runners because soon I see the kids sprinting up the hill to me saying that they saw Dad and cheered for him, but that he didn't even notice them.  At that point JD was in the hurt locker with his headphones on and had never noticed the kids. So off we go again to make it to the finish line.  We managed to find good parking near the finish and had plenty of time to see JD come in.
Cheering for the runners at mile 20!

Of course Zach took off to run with dad to the finish and I lost sight of him in the crowd at the end.  Nic and I looked for him for what seemed like forever until we spotted JD and had the announcer at the finish start calling Zach's name. Then I went back out to start searching the crowd for Zach again.  Thankfully, he was a smart and calm little guy and found a mom, showed her his RoadID and asked her to call me on the cell phone.  It didn't take long for us all to get reunited.
Running Duricks and their bling!

We had a great celebration of a really successful race day back at the hotel getting warmed up at the fire over Starbucks and then enjoying a late lunch of burgers.  We really loved our Richmond experience this year.  It was so fun for the whole family.

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