The Beaufort Road Race is known for being hot, humid, and flat and this year was no exception. The temperature was 81 degrees with a heat index of 91 degrees when I arrived at Front Street around 6:45am for the 7:30am start of the mile. After chatting with friends I went out for an easy warm-up run of 1.5 miles. I was feeling good but knew the heat was going to be tough and there would be a strong headwind the second half of the out and back course. The old mile course was a nice square course which I want them to bring back. An out and back in a mile is tough because it zaps your speed and costs you seconds having to do a 180 degree turn. Having the old square course would also prevent the last half mile or any section being into a headwind for half the race.
The times for the mile at Beaufort are all over the place. It varies so much year to year. There have been years where the winning times were well under 5:00 and there have been years the winner ran 5:30 or slower. Just never know who will run the mile each year. My bib number this year was 3. 3 is my favorite number and I tend to do well in races when I have a 3 in my number. I was hoping this was a good sign and would help me get the win.
I started to open up a gap on second and third place shortly after the turn. The wind was brutal was back and making it hard to run a fast mile. I just kept digging because I didn't want to get caught from behind. I cruised to the victory in 5:39. Second place was 6:16. That time is the slowest of my three Beaufort miles and it felt harder than it should have. It certainly wasn't fast but I beat who showed up and that's all that matters. I have now won two of the three distances at the Beaufort Road Race over 21 years. I guess that means I need to focus on getting faster in the 5K and win that in the future so I can have wins in all three events at Beaufort.
Next up was the 5K and 10K. I had plenty of friends in both so it was going to be fun to see the races play out as I paced my friend Eric in the 10K. We started off a little too quick the first three miles. I was trying to hold him back but we also wanted to get ahead of the masses so it wouldn't be so congested. We got to see Katherine 2nd Overall and 1st Woman running a strong 5K on her trip back to the finish on the out and back 5K course. Her time was 18:45. The overall 5K winner was Nolan Harris in 16:50.
We saw the 10K leader, Hunter Newman, pass 5 miles and I told him he had because second place was no where in sight of him. Katherine was doing her cool-down from the 5K and met me and Eric once we were back on Front Street with a half mile to go in the 10K. She also keep encouraging him as she ran with us now. Eric ended up finishing second in his age group in the 10K on a tough day so it turned out alright for him.
The Beaufort Road Race is a great event and I love the running community back home. It's always great to see so many friends at the race. We all can suffer together in the heat and humidity. I'll have a lot of work to do if I want to win the 5K in the future but maybe I can get lucky and win it on a year anyone dropping sub 17s won't show up.
Socks: Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Socks
Shoes: New Balance 1400v4
Shorts: Adidas 3" split shorts
Road ID Wrist ID Slim
Watch: Garmin 920XT
Sunglasses: Rudy Project Rydon