Joel was having a blast on the down hills. There is a really cool way to get to Queen Anne and Hillsboro (which is on the way to Tuckahoe) via back country roads; beautiful roads and scenery. We discussed a future plan of riding out to Tuckahoe on the bikes, swimming in the Lake, running the trails, and returning to Easton on bikes. As we were checking out the village of hundred plus year old houses, Joel said that it would be cool to get a group of us together and buy some houses there; have our own little commune of runners and triathletes. Unfortunately, he didn’t have more time than to ride to Queen Anne and back. We said our good byes to each other with a shaky hand slap on QA’s Main Street.
I ventured on to Adkins Arboretum to participate in their Arbor Day 5K. I was amazed by the number of cars in the parking lots when I rode up on my bike. There were 70+ runners ready to go. With the bike leaning on a tree, I quickly changed into a dry running shirt (Valliant appreciates my wardrobe changes between races), threw my $20 at the lady at the desk and got in line to run the race with bib number 185.
There was a correction to last year’s course to make this year’s an official 5k distance. I was nervous about the competition. Not so, because of Noah Wood, who wins most every race he enters, but for all the other runner-looking-types that I did not know. When the gun went off the crowd lurched forward. A boy took off so hard that I knew for sure I’d see him again soon, and I did. He lasted about 40 seconds before he started walking. He did win his age group. I didn’t start in the front, but by the time we were in the field only Noah was ahead of me.
The course was dry and well marked. I kept looking over my shoulder to see who was coming up behind, but there wasn’t anyone gaining on me. I pushed on anyhow, because at last year’s race I got passed in the 3rd mile. We did a double loop back on the course to get the mileage in. I passed a group of ladies I knew from Easton on my second time on the loop. The finish was a welcome sight and I was pleased to hear the timer yell 19:21 when I finished. I was stoked! I went on to be 2nd overall behind Noah and first in my age group.
The folks there at Adkins did a superior job of making the race wonderful in everyway. They really did it well. The post race buffet was fully stocked with bagels, fruit, drinks, cookies, and cupcakes. Winner’s medals were awarded three deep in many age brackets. And, the volunteers were helpful and cheery on the course. Combine great race organization with the beauty of Adkins, and it’s hard to imagine a better venue so close to home.
I truly believe the moderate bike ride to the race warmed up my legs to run, because they felt great. I also feel the bike oxygenated my blood to a level that aided my effort. I’ve experienced that phenomenon while swimming intervals. It was a pretty awesome feeling to be wearing a winner’s medal while hopping on my bike and speeding away back to Easton. Many folks from the race beeped at me when they passed me on the road. Did I say how awesome the weather was? Soon after I left Adkins, in a field were two Bald Eagles standing with two turkey buzzards about 75 feet from the road. The eagles were easily twice the size of the buzzards. Beautiful.
The rest of the day was just as awesome: We drove to DC and watched my niece Ashby and her Georgetown Lacrosse team whoop up on U of Cincinnati. Olivia, Ashby, and I later biked down to the Lincoln Memorial, had milkshakes, and enjoyed Georgetown. Great day. Did I mention how awesome the weather was?
This week we’re looking forward to some lacrosse games for my daughters, a Latin competition for Liv, and the Trail Dawgs Triple Crown Races for my RUR blokes and me. Love, swim, ride, run, and appreciate life ~ WF