Run Free Texas 80s 8k: 1st Austin Distance Challenge On the Books

Streak Day: 644
YTD Mileage: 1562/2016

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credit: all events.in

Sunday morning, October 2nd, arrived in a friendly manner: cool, clear, and dry.It was a perfect morning for the RFT 80s 8k! The race took place at John Gupton Stadium in Cedar Park. The race start was 7:30 am, my least favorite race start time after 7 am. The later race starts are so much nicer. One’s body has a chance to wake up and get used to the idea of running hard for a few (or more) miles. I was initially, as usual, dreading the 7:30 am start; however, the lack of traffic running from South to North on I-35 when we left home at 6:15 allowed us to reach the race site in Cedar Park in thirty minutes. RECORD TIME for getting to Cedar Park from just South of the river!

The stadium is a good place for this race. Nearly 1000 people ran the race, but parking was plentiful. More important than plentiful parking are plentiful bathrooms. Maybe the BEST part of this race is that the bathrooms were brick and mortar with multiple stalls, and they were open for business (um, so to speak). The race course itself goes along the residential streets near the stadium. The race announcer said something, before the start, about the course being flat. NOT SO! It was pretty hilly, actually.

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That last hill in mile four nearly did me in! I powered up it by letting this lady in front of me, unbeknownst to herself of course, pace me. She had been in front of me the entire race, but I passed her on a hill once during the race. She somehow pulled ahead of me again and there she stayed until the end. She turned out to be the first place finisher in her age group (60-64). I’m in the age group just under hers. Yep. I was schooled in racing by an older woman. I’m ok with someone older running faster than I. This lady’s performance gives me something to aspire to.

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Despite the hills and my nausea, which crept up mile two and hovered barely noticeable in the background until the smell of food cooking about mile 4.5 threw it into a rage, I ran my pace goal: 8:30. Chip time: 42:36. I placed 2/25 AG, 96/519 Gender, and 266 / 859 Overall. As far as the Austin Distance Challenge rankings, I’m 3 / 11 AG (50-59), 38 Gender, and 171 Overall. I had to search through the ADC rankings to piece together the total number of women in the full distance challenge, about 130, and the number overall, about 474. The first place holder in my AG is the woman who placed first in my AG in the 80s 8k, with a 36 minute chip time. I’m thinking I won’t be able to beat her to the finish line . . . . EVER! How awesome can a woman over the age of 55 get, to run a 36 minute five mile race? I were not so in awe of this woman, I would be envious. I’m ok with having run my goal pace!

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This first race of the Austin Distance Challenge ROCKED (and would have even had I not achieve my goal pace). Some of the runners in costume nailed the 80s look. The race was well organized; the volunteers and police officers kept everything (and everyone) running smoothly and safely! I have my ADC puzzle piece from the race, and I’m ready to tackle the next race in the series: Run for the Water 10 miler, November 6th. This race is super hilly, but I’ll be ready for it! I donned my 14 lb weighed vest and hit the hill at Eisenhower Park this morning for hill sprints: 7 x 1 minute sprint, 7 x 2 minute recovery. I’m also hoping these hill sprints will keep my legs ready for the climbing I’ll be doing three days from now, when we run the Oregon Coast 50k. I consider this weekend’s 50k as a training run for the ten miler in November : )

Author: TD Morris

I am a small business owner (ATX Ultra Eats, gluten-free, grain-free products www.atxultraeats.com) who loves God, my family, my dogs, running, barefoot running, cooking, eating, and reading!

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