Barry and Braden's PR Times

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 Yorktown Independence Day 8K

For the 4th of July holiday, our family took a two-week vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia where we experienced historical sight seeing, amusement parks, days at the beach, and to top it 8K run at the Yorktown Battlefield Park. When I go out of state, I usually like to schedule a race for fun and this time I wanted to schedule one that would be on the 4th and coincidentally would also be Braden's first race outside of Arkansas.

While in Virginia, I wanted to do some training runs in preparation for the race. One morning  I was going to take a 5K easy run with my father-in-law around the William & Mary University campus and it ended up being an 8-mile run due to getting turned around and lost. Luckily Braden, who was supposed to go with us, decided he didn't want to run that morning or he would've been hating it!

A few days later, we did go on a 5-mile run through a park that consisted of a lot of trails; which was a first for Braden. There he found a new love...trail running. He was having the time of his life running through the woods and is now wanting to run a trail race.

Other than that, most of our training included long and tiring days on foot in Washington D.C. and at the Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens theme parks.

Prior to the race, I was not only concerned about the 8 a.m. start time, but the Virginia heat as well because it could be just as bad as Arkansas, except with more humidity. Luckily, the temperatures were in the mid-70's at the start and the sun stayed behind the clouds, but boy was it humid! It had rained the night before and most of the course was under a forest canopy, which to me felt like it trapped in the humidity. I was very thankful when they said there would be water stops every 1.25 miles.

The start and finish line area was adjacent to aptly named Surrender Field at the Yorktown Battlefield, where the British surrendered to the Americans & French to effectively end the American Revolution. It was a very pretty course and one of my thoughts was that it would be absolutely beautiful in the fall...especially with the lower temps.

When we kicked off the race we were aggressive getting out since we were fighting with almost 300 other runners on the paved trail. At one point Braden said that we were going at a pretty fast pace, but my Garmin was telling me otherwise. It was telling me we were at a 9:55 pace, but I was almost in agreement with him that it seemed we were going faster than that. When we reached the 1 mile marker, a lady next to us was saying that they were at an 8:55 pace, but I was still showing around 9:45. I then looked again and noticed my watch was showing we had also ran only 3/4 of a mile instead of 1. I don't know if it was the canopy or what, but somehow we "lost" a 1/4 of a mile. 

So, the rest of the race we couldn't rely on pace to gauge on how we were doing and we were getting drenched from the humidity. There were a couple of times I stopped to let him to catch up to me, especially after some hills, but with a mile to go he started to kick it into a higher gear.

We passed a lot of people the last mile, and because it wasn't chip timed, the race officials asked that we enter the finish gate in single file so they could grab the bottom of our bib to annotate the time. About a 100 yards out, Braden started his finishing kick and I told him to catch the next person, which he did, and he finished with a time of 44:20 and I finished 4 seconds behind him. It was a minute off his previous best at the Rock Run 8K, but he finished in first place in his age group and the other runners were very complimentary to him afterwards.

It was a great way to end our vacation and now his next set of races will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 11 for the USATF Region 9 Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. There he will run the 1500 and 800M events against some very tough competition from Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

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