The final Arizona Road Racers Summer Series race took place this morning at South Mountain Park. They said close to a thousand runners were there. It was another humid morning, though not quite as bad as the last race. The course made up for it though. It was an out-and-back course up on the mountain. To help mentally prepare me for the race a guy from West Valley Runners told me that although the first half is uphill, don't expect to be running downhill the second. An email I got from the race directors also said that the course is uphill both ways! It was definitely a tough course. It would be nice to have some hills to train on, that's for sure.
I had a pretty slow start because I wasn't able to get very close to the starting line, so I had to make my way through a lot of people. Once things were clear, I felt pretty good. Definitely felt the hill though. The quarter mile before the turnaround was the toughest of the inclines. Then there was a very noticeable downhill. I was starting to think "This doesn't feel like an uphill." And quite honestly the remainder of the course didn't either, but it didn't feel like much of a downhill.
I didn't see the first mile marker, so I don't know what my split was, but at mile 2 I was at 13 minutes, about 40 seconds slower than I wanted to be. I was able to push it the rest of the way, and still have some energy left for the final kick. That felt good to finish strong. Afterwards, Lani told me I was too fast for her to get a picture. I'll have to remember to slow down next time. I finished in a time of 20:05, about 40 seconds slower that I was hoping for.
While we were waiting for the results, we heard them announce a little kids race for all who were interested, so I brought our 3-year-old over (she also loves to run). It was a very short out-and-back. She was pretty excited. We started going, and she started smiling big. After we turned around, and mommy snapped a picture, I grabbed our 1-year old and we all ran to the finish. All the kids got cool medals and a Capri-Sun. The girls were clearly proud of themselves. Mommy and Daddy are too.
For a list of complete results for the Summer Series, click here.