Pre-race: Today I participated in the Manatee River Run State Championship held annually at Emerson Point, Palmetto Fl. Emerson Point is a beautiful place to run. Nice gravel paths inside a wooded trail, occasionally passing by the beautiful river. The temperature this morning was about 73 degrees Fahrenheit with 80% humidity. Not too bad for a race day. We arrived at the park around 7:00 am (about an hour before the start time) to assure we got a parking spot, which was about 1/2 mile away from the start line, making it a great warm up. Once in the park, we checked in our bags and sat tight. Around 7:45 (15 minutes before start time) I headed over to the start line to make sure I got a decent spot in the front. It turned out that they lined us up according to our mile pace, so I would have been in the front anyhow.
Race Time: At 8:00 am, everyone was all grouped tight at the start line, anxious to start. The commands where given, followed by a loud blow of an air horn. Everyone took off. I felt strong up in the front in a solid 4th place overall, perhaps too strong. Yup, I got so excited that I forgot to pace myself and burned out in the first half of the race. My goal was to hit 7 minute miles, but my first mile was 6:17. Just a tad too fast aye? That was enough to take away my energy for the last 5 miles. I could only hold the 4th place position for a mile and a half before I sadly had to give it up. As the race went on, more and more passed me. Eventually I finished with a 38:37 in 53rd place overall and 2nd place in my age division. My initial goal was to be top 20 overall and for my time to be under 35:00, but as you can see, I didn’t quite make it. No worries though. This is an annual event, so I get to try again next year.
Post Race: After the race, I downed water like crazy. I was super exhausted. I guess that means I pushed myself petty hard. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to recover, so I could cheer on my parents. Once my parents where finished, we got some food that was being provided by the Manatee High School Key Club, and grabbed our bags and sat tight for the results. When all the racers where in, they began to hand out the awards. I was super excited when they announced my name for 2nd place in my age division. This has been my first time ever placing in a large racing event like this one. I received my medal (or wood as the case may be), took some victory pictures, and started the 1/2 mile journey back to the car. All in all, I had a great time, and I am super excited for another race.