I joined the team my Aunt Cheryl set up in memory of my Uncle Don. The team was called Darting For Don. My Uncle Don loved playing darts hence the name Darting For Don. The team raised $1,270.00 and I raised $265.00. Thank you to everyone that donated to me and my team! I greatly appreciate it! The funds raised will support brain tumor research.
My training for shorter distances had been going well and I was looking forward to testing my training at this race. My training had consisted of a lot of 400m intervals with 400m and 200m recoveries between. I also mixed in fartlek runs where I would run faster than goal pace for 1:00 and then run easy for 2:00 min or run faster than goal pace for 2:00 min and recovery for 1:00. I thought I was in shape to run in the 17:40s with possibly a shot at sub 17:40.
|Team Darting For Don|
The race started a little after 8am and I was out fast but it was an uphill start. Several runners were ahead of me but I knew I went out a little too fast and expected some others had done the same. After a short uphill start the course went down hill and was flat for a little while. The course started by going by the back of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. I ran the first mile in 5:42 and I was in fifth or sixth place. The course made a right turn after the first mile and I started up a steep quarter mile uphill. I like hills because I can usually drop people on them. However, I don't get to train on long hills like this in Greenville, NC because there simply aren't any. At least back home in Carteret County I have the Atlantic Beach Bridge that is 400m straight up and 1.5 miles over and back. I pushed the hill and moved into fourth place with the top three not far ahead.
A quarter mile downhill followed the steep uphill. I felt good but I knew I was pushing it. A couple short and steep hills came next but they were over fast, nothing like the long uphill after the first mile. The second long hill came from 1.5 - 2 miles. It was steep as well and I tried to maintain my low 5:40 min/mile pace. The course was heading towards the Duke Chapel and we had the whole road to ourselves. This was a very pretty part of the course. The road is great to run and you get a great view of the Chapel the whole way. My legs and body were getting tired. I was not expecting this many steep hills and rolling hills the rest of the way. I ran mile two in 5:51.
|Finishing in 4th Place in 17:57|
I knew I only had 1.1 miles to go and needed to give it everything I had to get in the 17:40s. There was another uphill for about a quarter mile after we made the turn in front of the Chapel. Another downhill followed which allowed me to pick the pace up. I was still holding onto fourth place overall but I wasn't gaining much on the top three but they were not getting farther away either. The rest of the course was rolling hills and I knew I had to climb the uphill back to the finish where the race started. I gave it what I had but the hills took their toll on me. I ran the final 1.1 miles in 6:24 to finish in fourth place overall in 17:57.
I was disappointed in my time but it was a tough course; tougher than I expected. I still enjoyed the course. It was pretty, challenging, and the weather was great for a race. After cooling down I met up with my aunt and the rest of the Darting For Don team for our team picture. The Duke Blue Devils mascot came out and on his headband were the words "Devils Running With Angels". That was a nice touch. The race had a great turnout. My aunt and the team participated in the Survivors Walk, which was very emotional and goes through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.
|Sarah P. Duke Gardens|
I'm glad I got to participate in the race for the first time and I look forward to doing it again. It is a wonderful cause. It was nice meeting people that came out in memory of my Uncle Don. He was a great uncle, father, friend, husband, and police officer in Morehead City and Raleigh. He spent 30 years in the Raleigh Police Department retiring as a Captain and District Commander. He was also a graduate of the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. He is missed every day by his family and friends. He will never be forgotten.