We Rocked the 20K!!

We did great!! Kim and I both were just freaking awesome, or we think so anyway and that’s all that matters. Kim’s time was 1:50:08, mine was 1:59:11. Woo Freaking Hoo!! We were both very happy. Kim was first in her age group, I was third in something called Masters, not really sure I like that, it sounds “old”, but 3rd nonetheless!

Kim got to my house pretty early, 5:30am, we did a warm up lap down my street, which worked to get the system warmed up, then we headed to Benton, it was very cool this morning, a crisp 55 degrees according to a bank sign in Benton. As we were driving to the High School we were met by the Marathon runners who started at 6:30am, still dark mind you, we saw a couple of people we recognized.

We were there plenty early to pick up our shirts and bibs, no goody bags at this race, too small I guess. We also had time to do a little warm-up lap, which really didn’t warm us up much. We saw quite a few people we knew, we saw Jane and Marianne, when I saw Ironman Marianne I knew she would beat me, but she was the “Guide” for a visually impaired runner, I didn’t know how that would work, but she had a number and come to find out she was 1st place Masters! Kim saw some guys she works or had worked with, one, Ken was 2nd overall, something like 1:15, super fast. We saw some other people Marta from LR Marathon Training group, she came in 3rd overall female at 1:4X, Jane won 1st in her age group and then we saw Sarah from the Cabot Cruisers, just lots of people and lots of friendly people.

I ran most of the race with a girl from Harrison, AR, she was really nice and we kept each other on pace, she’s the one who got me under 2:00, we were making the turn for the High School and she said “we have 3/10 of a mile to go, if we do it in less than 3 minutes we’ll be under 2:00”, I turned on the gas, I don’t know where it came from because there were about 3 hills at the very end that about took it out of me completely, but as we were running down the chute I could see the clock said 1:59:XX, I couldn’t see the seconds for the flags, and there was this large man in front of me and I said “RUN, WE CAN BEAT 2:00” and he picked it up too and we made it, I was super happy, SUPER HAPPY! And another thing, I wasn’t dying! My heart rate was super high at that point, my Garmin was beeping like crazy, but it came right back down once I quit running.

More about the actually race, when we started out I told Kim “I’ll see you at the finish” and she was gone, it wasn’t long and Jane passed me too, but I wasn’t stressing, just ran my own race. I had my fuel belt and glad I did. The first mile was pretty hilly and then we were on this long flat stretch till about mile 4 and then it started getting hilly again, and the bad part, it was an out and back so I knew whatever pain in the ass hill I was running, I’d be doing it again. Around mile 5 we started seeing the leaders, that’s when I saw Kim’s friend Ken, running in 2nd, running hard! A few minutes later more runners, saw Kim and said Hey! then we got to the turnaround, it was at the bottom of a big hill. I ate half of a baby clif bar, drank some of my Cytomax and walked for a few seconds and we were off again, I had caught up with Jane and we ran together for a while, at least until we go to the next water stop, she stopped, I kept going.

I felt good until about mile 9, then I wanted it to be over, just a 5K to go, but it was tough, we had gotten back into town and the hills started up again, UGH! At the last water stop as I was running by they asked for my bib number and radioed in, I have no idea what that was about, I had stripped off my long sleeve top and it was tied around my waist and the guy couldn’t see my bib number. Weird. After that stop was the overpass, I had to walk right before the crest, take some more Cytomax, and then off again. Where was the end? I caught up to the girl from Harrison and she was saying, we can be under 2 hours if we don’t stop, and I said, I’m not stopping, well I did have to stop for some traffic on Main street, the ROTC guys must not have seen me or just didn’t care anymore cause I came to a stop for just a second or two to wait on cars at a light.

I was now at about mile 11.5, almost there and the worst of the hills ahead, don’t look at them just run, I tried to run them all, had to walk at the crest of another one and that’s when the girl from Harrison came up again, she was like a bad penny! But, she’s the one who pushed me to get under 2 hours. I was so excited to turn the corner and see those flags set up for the chute, there was no crowd support, just one lady way out on that country road playing Vanilla Ice “Ice, Ice Baby” LOL. Funny.

I am still on cloud nine, have my little Masters plaque, still don’t like that “masters” category, but I have a plaque! It was a lucky day for us, we stopped at Starbucks and the guy behind the counter had seen us (well not US, but the runners) and we told him about our 1st and 3rd places and he bought our drinks, then we went to Target in Benton and found multitudes of bargains.

Great day- Great race

12.47 miles – 1:59:11 average pace 9:33

  1. 9:42
  2. 9:23
  3. 9:24
  4. 9:29
  5. 9:42
  6. 9:19
  7. 9:53
  8. 9:12
  9. 9:28
  10. 9:35
  11. 9:49
  12. 10:06
  13. 8:53

6 Responses

  1. Cheryl – WOW you did AWESOME!!!!! I have done this race before and that is a TOUGH course – CONGRATS!!!!


  2. IMPRESSIVE~~~!!!

  3. Congrats!!! Sound absolutely awesome. 🙂

  4. Cheryl you are freakin awesome!!! GREAT JOB!!! Hey a Masters award is better than an age group award!!!
    I’m so glad you have such a great day!

  5. WOW………..awesome job!!! 9:33 pace is awesome for that distance. Is this the same Cheryl from last year??? Your doing really great, all that hill running is paying off for you. Good job!

  6. Man that’s great!!!! I would be WAAAAAAAAYYYYY behind you….I am so jealous! Maybe I will someday aspire to your greatness!

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