Sunday, November 27, 2011

Aubrae Gunderson Memorial 5K - Race Report

The Aubrae Gunderson Memorial 5K race was on Saturday, November 26th at the reasonable time of 9am.  My wife Susan, our friend Jim, and I signed up for race the about two weeks ago.  Jim ran the race last year.  This was Susan's first 5K race race.  Her prior 5K races were mostly race walks.

Susan, Jim and I arrived at Heritage High School in Conyers at around 8:30am.  While Jim looked for a place to park, Susan and I left the car to find the registration table in the school common area.  We picked up our race packets and waited for Jim.  The t-shirts we selected were long-sleeve cotton.  They also had short-sleeve technical shirts for a few dollars more.  We all liked the cotton shirts though; so that's what we got.

Waiting for the race to start
The t-shirt artwork (front)
The t-shirt (back)
Race schwag bag
Race bib
The 1-mile run/walk started just before 9am.  After that race started the crowd of 5K participants headed toward the starting line.  I wished Susan and Jim luck before moving to the front of the crowd.  That's where I caught up with my friend Randy.  We seem to do a lot of the same races.  Randy had also run the race in 2010 so he gave me a few pointers about the course.  His brief description was correct, there were a few hills.
The portion of the course that turns off of Granade Road onto Lochinver Lane
Someone said "GO" and the race was on.  We ran up a slight hill out of the parking lot to a right turn onto Hwy 138.  I was surrounded by what had to be track or cross-country team members.  As my position in the race fell from 4th I tried to keep up my pace.  I passed the first mile marker at just over 6 minutes.  At that point I was sure that I wouldn't be getting a Master award this day.  Somewhere near the two mile marker I was passed by another runner that was clearly not in high school or of college age.  As I crested the last hill and turned back toward the school I tried to let the slight downhill slope drive my pace.  Soon I was back on school property and headed toward the football stadium. A quick partial loop on the track and I was in the finish line chute.  My time was 18:47.  I finished in 10th place overall and was the first Grand Master (over 50) finisher.

After completing my time card I headed back out onto the course to find Susan and Jim.  I ran into Randy on the way and gave him a High-5.  Jim was a little further back.  I gave Jim a few encouraging words and continued on.  Susan was just rounding the corner before the big hill when I caught up with her.  We ran and walked to the stadium where Jim was waiting at the finish line.  Susan's time was 42:05.  That's a PR for her.  The good thing is that she ran her race and didn't try to kill it or herself.  Jim usually goes home with an award and this race was no different.  His time was 34:25.

After the race we went back to the common area for the awards presentation and to watch the High Heel Hustle right after.  The race organizers also drew numbers for prizes.  None of us won anything but apparently the announcer, Dan Gunderson, really wants to go to Hooters.  Several people won gift certificates from Hooters and each time he commented that he could also partake in some wings.

Dan Gunderson addressing the crowd
The awards were trophies for the overall and masters and plaques for the rest.  I brought home my first trophy - ever!  I was very pleased with my performance considering I hadn't run at all since I completed Ironman Florida three weeks ago on November 5th.

Me and my trophy safe at home
My Grand Master trophy
Jim picked up another plaque to add to his vast collection.

Jim and Susan enjoying some refreshments
The indomitable Don McClellan also ran the race after loaning a camera to several volunteers who used them to help document the race.  After the race Don collects the cameras and posts the images online.

The awards presentation
Runners preps for the High Heel Hustle
Participants in the High Heel Hustle
The start of the HHH
Some of my general thoughts about the race were that it was well run and well supported.  I ran a 10K race in Edmond, Oklahoma called the Deer Creek Classic about two years ago.  That race compares well to the enthusiasm of the participants, volunteers, and sponsorship.  The Race for Riley 5K in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia compares well but beats this race in sponsorship as it relates to schwag.  Kudos to all the organizers and participants.

Taking into account all the variables, I suppose it's possible that I could complete a race on a USATF certified course within the time required to be seeded for the 2012 Peachtree Road Race.  That would be cool!  The PRR 2010 seeded requirements are a 38:00 10K or 18:20 5K finish time.

Next weekend we'll be doing the Jingle Jog 5K in McDonough.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Old Bike

I was looking through some old images on my computer the other day.  The pictures included some stuff I donated to a local charity in 2006.  In the folder I found a picture of my 1989 red Trek 1500 road bike.  Several month ago I searched for a picture while reminiscing about my epic two day ride from Griffin, Georgia to St. George Island.  I recalled the ride in a post entitled St. George Island or Bust.  My search for a picture for that post ended unsuccessfully.  I suppose it's when you're not looking for something that you're most likely to find it.  I was installing some new software on my computer the other day and that's when I found my old pictures.  I also found a picture of my barely used Blackburn fan type bike trainer and a Trek bike we bought from a friend for Susan.  She never rode the bike and both items were also donated.

We hadn't ridden those bikes in years so I guess it was time to get rid of them.  Who would have thought that just a few year later we'd catch the cycling bug again and have two new bikes.  I suppose our rekindled enthusiasm for cycling has partly to do with our moving from Decatur to Jonesboro in 2004.  Now that we are Outside-the-Perimeter (OTP) we both feel safer riding on the road.

My old 1989 Trek 1500 with Aerobars
Susan's old Trek
Our old trainer
Now that we're riding again I sure wish we'd kept some of our old cycling stuff.  The next time we decide to get rid of stuff I'll think twice about it.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 Ironman Arizona Participants from Georgia

I culled through the 2011 Ironman Arizona participants list and these 75 folks registered as Georgia residents. Ironman Florida had about 200 Georgia residents that registered to race.

Bib #Last NameFirst NameA/GState
2014Bussey, IiiJoseph G.M40-44GA

Kudos to all the 2011 Ironman race participants.

Good Luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Susan's First 5K Race

My wife Susan and I registered for two 5K races today.  The first race is the Aubrae Gunderson Memorial 5K at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia at 9AM on Saturday, November 26th.  The second race is The Rotary Club of Henry County Jingle Jog 5K at the square in McDonough, Georgia on the following weekend at 3:15PM on Saturday, December 3rd.

These will be Susan's first real races.  I know she'll do well - she's gonna PR!  We're working on a base for Susan's first triathlon in the spring.  She's chosen the Tri the Parks sprint race in Newnan, Georgia on June 2nd.  I'm sure that I'll be racing too.

For myself, I'd like to PR too.  I ran a 18:21 5K in Griffin, Georgia over twenty years ago.  I'd like to beat that time.  I still have the plaque from that race.  I remember finishing 2nd overall.  I was probably two minutes behind the overall winner.

1991 Iris City 5K Award
If I were to look to more current stats. (from this millennium) they would be from the 2010 Pacesetter 5000.  I finished that race in 19:51.

Our friend Jim Macie will be running these races too.

Thanks for reading.