The Toughest 10K Galveston was the second race in the Texas Bridge Series, which means that I have 2 down and 1 to go…La Porte Half Marathon!
The race start was at 7:30a.m and the 6.2 mile course was an out and back starting at the Galveston County Daily News taking runners northbound over the bridge before making a turnaround at Tiki Island and heading back over the bridge. The course is typically flat with one BIG exception; the 72 foot tall bridge that features a 3 1/2 percent grade!!! 😨
Packet pick-up started at 6 a.m. which meant I had to get up at 2 a.m. to get ready and leave by 3:15 a.m. The race location is a good two hour drive from home and runners had to take a shuttle from the parking area over to the start/finish.
I arrived at the runner’s parking around 5:15 a.m. The shuttle buses started at 5:30 a.m. so I had a few minutes to relax and stretch before shuttling over to get my bib and timing chip. It was windy and really cool at packet pickup and since I had about two hours to burn, I took the shuttle back to my car to get my jacket then shuttled back to the start/finish to see if I could find any of my fellow running friends waiting around now that I was warm. Perfect day and weather for a race!
We lined up at the start standing in silence for the National Anthem and then the countdown started…5…4…3…2…1…GO!!! I can’t say that I started out slow but I started with a pace (8:16) I was comfortable with getting my way through the pack.
The first mile was pretty flat and smooth. The bridge was a slow, long incline. I was feeling pretty good and was keeping my pace steady going into mile 2. People were already walking and gasping for air, but not me. I had already had a peep talk with myself before the start. My goal was to get over and back to the finish and for time to PR my Kemah time (1:01:03). Mile 3 turnaround at Tiki Island, I ran through the grass and had a tiny rock (so I thought) get caught between my ankle and sock. I didn’t want to stop to fish it out so I kept going. Coming back up the bridge the “rock” rubbing was getting worse and painful. It was more a knife feeling than a rubbing. I stopped quickly to dig it out and found it was a grass spur. 😮 It was a half second stop, so it wasn’t going to kill my time. I sprinted back to my pace (8:30) and kept it there til mile 5, where I slowed my pace a little trying to conserve a little energy to finish strong in my last mile. I checked my watch as I approached mile 6 and bolted. I ran hard and didn’t slow down. My fellow strutter, Gilbert caught up to me and we pretty much stayed head to head in the final stretch sprinting into the finish. My good friend, Jon Walk was emceeing the race and announced my name as I crossed the finish line throwing my arm in the air screaming “WOOHOO!” I must say, I was emotional. Even though I hadn’t looked at my watch since mile 5, I knew I had just PR’d this race!
FOOD!!! FOOD!!! FOOD!!!! They had ALL kinds of food for us. They had pizza, cookies, breakfast burritos, oranges, bananas, candy, cokes, ice cream, water and beer!!! After a bathroom break, food and water I went on the hunt of my crew for post race pictures while we waited for the official race results.
I’m looking forward to the 3rd race in the series, La Porte Half Marathon next month. As far as my next race goes, it’ll be the Pleasure Island Bridge 10K where I’ll conquer ANOTHER bridge before La Porte.