This was my fourth race of the year and third 10K. I decided I was going to run the first race of the year with my friends Jason and Emily's German Shorthaired Pointer Lucy. I've been running with Lucy several times a week for over a year now and we both love it. She's an awesome dog to run with. I also wanted to get her picture in the Carteret County News-Times so her family and I would have a great memory to keep.
I've ran with dogs in races in the past. When I lived in Greenville I was part of the 5Ks 4 K9s volunteer program at the Pitt County Animal Shelter. We would take shelter dogs to races and run them in the one mile or 5K. We also took dogs to races just to hang out and watch. It got the dogs seen outside the shelter setting and increased adoptions. That program is awesome and I had a lot of fun running the shelter dogs. I also raced the Jingle Bell Run 5K in Raleigh with an ex girlfriend and mine's dog Bud. Bud did awesome in that race and we passed a lot of runners after starting in the very back.
I always let Lucy control the pace when I run her as I have with any dog I've ran or raced in the past. Lucy is fast though and can handle much longer distances and paces than any dog I've ran with before. Her Dad Jason has ran her 20 miles on trials in Umstead State Park and the longest I've ran her is 16 miles with a sub 7:00 min/mile pace average.
The race started and Lucy and I took off. There was one guy way ahead already so I assumed he was running the 5K as I doubted he would be able to hold that pace for the 10K. I knew Lucy and I were in third in the 10K behind two West Carteret High School runners. The sand was packed in pretty good and the wind coming off the ocean so we wouldn't have to battle a headwind going out or coming back.
Lucy and I ran the first mile in 6:15. She usually is in front of me, pulling me along but she was staying beside me so far. I felt good and just settled in to stay within striking distance of first and second in the 10K. We moved into second place shortly after the first mile. As expected, the guy who went out really fast made the turn at the 5K turn around sign and headed back to the finish. Lucy and I stayed straight past the 5K sign as we headed towards the pier at the Double Tree Hotel.
We closed the gap on the leader and took the lead around two miles. We ran mile two in 6:35. Lucy likes being out front so once we got closer to the leader she started pulling to get us the lead. Once we got the lead Lucy settled back beside me as we kept running towards the 10K turn around. The sand got a little rough and soft once we passed the pier and it was causing us to slow down. I kept looking for a better line to run with more packed in sand but it was tough to find. We kept the effort up as we ran mile three in 6:56.
We were able to pick the pace back up a little bit and I was looking forward to getting back in better sand for the final 1.5 miles. We ran miles four and five in 6:48 and 6:57. The sand that was the best earlier in the race was now getting soft too partly due to the tide starting to rise and partly due to it being chewed up from all the runners already running through it.
Lucy was still cruising beside me as we ran mile six in 7:01. I wasn't sure how big our lead was but I was feeling confident we were going to win the race. We finished the race in First Place Overall in 42:04! Second place was Cameron Eure in 42:59 and Heidi was third place overall, first woman in 43:45. Zack Nally of the Carteret County News-Times was there and got pictures of me and Lucy and printed one in the newspaper. I thanked him for that and always appreciate the support of the local newspaper.
My friend Eric took the overall mile win in 7:13. My friend Katherine ran the 1 mile with her son Brock for fun. The overall 5K winner was Holden Dixon in 17:58.
Lucy and I got both some water after the race and then she got a lot of loving and petting from kids and adults. A lot of people were so impressed with her. She had more in her than I did. I think I was still a little tired from my progression 16 miles long run with Catherine just three days before. Lucy slept in the car ride back to my parents but once we got there she was ready to go again. We ate El's for dinner and Lucy got some bites of their famous super cheeseburger as I ate their even more famous super shrimp burger.
I had a lot of fun winning a race with Lucy and I know she had a great time too. I'm hoping I can make most of the Beach Runs this year and hopefully get to do more with Lucy. I'm also hoping her Dad, ultra runner extraordinaire Jason can run some too.
Socks: Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro
Shoes: New Balance Zante v1
Shorts: Neon Green (in memory of Sonny Hyman) Adidas shorts
Dog Harness: Ruffwear Front Range Harness
Dog Leash: Ruffwear Roamer Leash
Watch: Garmin 920xt
Sunglasses: Rudy Project Rydon