This year was the 30th running of the event. Severe thunderstorms threatened the race but they stopped just hours before leaving wet roads and a headwind in our face the whole way. It used to be rare for this race to have a headwind however the last couple years it has happened more often. I missed the race last year when it was a tailwind and when I last ran it in 2014 it was a headwind. I arrived at the starting line shortly after 7am and waited for most runners to arrive via the bus service from the finish line. I've been parking at the start and getting my car afterwards on the way back home for years because it's a lot less hassle.
I did a scoop of Generation UCAN about 35 minutes before the start and then started my dynamic warm-up. I then met Katherine and Heidi and we headed off for an easy warm-up run to the Beaufort waterfront and back. We had overcast skies and cooler temperature to go along with the headwind. At least it wasn't sunny, hot, and humid. I wore my Adidas neon green shorts for Sonny Hyman because it was his favorite color and mine too. I also wore my Adidas Adizero Boston 5 boost shoes.
I was drafted the entire way during the 2014 race until the final half mile when 3 runners passed me and I finished 4th. I swear if I had stopped and walked earlier in that race they would have done the same just to say behind me in the headwind. After finishing my warm-up I decided I wasn't going to let that happen in the headwind this year. I was going to be more aggressive and break the pack up.
After coming off the second bridge I did a surge to pick the pace up and to start to break up any group of runners that was with me and Katherine. I didn't look back to see who was still with us after my surge but it didn't feel like there was many. We ran mile two in 6:07. I did another surge after the second mile to keep anyone from hanging with us. Around 2.5 miles we saw our friend David Garrison and he was cheering us on and said we were alone out in front. I smiled and told him he should be out here with us running. He's a good runner and I had many close races against him and Sonny over the years.
The wind was tough but I knew it was going to get tougher when we started up and over the final bridge. Katherine and I were still clicking off the miles together. It felt like a training run with her beside me. We talked back and forth and enjoyed the race and running together. After a third mile in 6:09 I told Katherine if we were still clear of the field at the final bridge it would be really cool to finish side by side as a tribute to Sonny and Taylor. We talked about that and got a little emotional thinking about them and what their reaction would be seeing us finish together. We just had to make sure no one ran us down from behind so we could have that moment.
We ran mile four in 6:16 which wasn't bad going uphill into the headwind. We saw my Dad at the four mile marker and he took pictures and cheered us on. I think he told us we were all clear and he couldn't see anyone behind us. We were able to pick it up going down the bridge. A downhill even in a headwind is a good thing. Coming off the bridge we still had about half a mile of flat running to go to get to the finish line. I did a quick look over my shoulder and didn't see anyone. As we neared the finish I had the idea to grab Katherine's left hand and we raised our arms together as we crossed the finish line side by side in a tie for 1st place Overall in 30:46. Run The East got a great video of us finishing that you can watch on YouTube. Second place was two minutes behind us. Our friend Brendon placed 5th in 33:04 and Heidi was 6th Overall and second woman in 33:26.
Despite the wind my friend Eric beat his time from last year by 3:39 running 43:34 this year. He credits his girlfriend Kathryn for getting him to run more and having faster progression runs. This was Kathryn's first Twin Bridges Road Race and she placed 3rd in her age group.
This was the 30th Annual Twin Bridges 8K Road Race. My bib number had a 3 in it. Sonny loved the number 3. The number 3 has been my favorite since elementary school. Call it foreshadowing or fate. The results were meant to be. I believe Sonny and Taylor had a direct impact on the race and were with me and Katherine.