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2007 Baden Mile Race Report: New PR!

On Saturday I ran my 4th Baden Mile race in Karlsruhe, Germany. This is the one that got me started running regularly. That’s right, 4 years and 2 months ago some of my coworkers put me up to the challenge, run a race farther than I ever had before, 8.88889 kilometers (5.5 miles). I took them up on the challenge and the rest has been history.

The race started at 3 p.m., so I had some time to putter around the house before leaving for the race. I left about 2 hours before the start of the race and parked near the finish line. I then took a streetcar across town to where the race began. After picking up my start number I still had about 45 minutes to waist so relaxed on a park bench in the market square – at least until the first drops of rain began to fall. I managed to find a spare corner in the court house where the start numbers were issued, hundreds of runners had the same idea. After about 10 minutes the sprinkling rain let up again and the most wandered outside. I stood in the restroom line for awhile, then headed over towards the start to meet others from my company – there forty-four from my company running or walking.

I chatted briefly with a few from my office, then warmed up by jogging around the castle gardens. A few minutes before the race I line up at the start, trying to stay fairly close to the front, I knew from experience that a lot of time is lost in the mass start.

My right hamstring muscles where quite sore, I think I pushed to hard on the hills the night before. But as the start pistol went off I put these thoughts behind me and tried to break out of the pack as best I could as we wound our way around the palace gardens and out onto the main streets of Karlsruhe. This first part is always the hardest, it is fairly narrow and over 3000 runners were reported to be starting. Needless to say there was quite a bit of pushing and shoving and colorful language as the river overflowed its banks.

I pushed hard the first several kilometers, my hamstring was not happy, but I wanted to put in a good performance, no sense giving my coworkers something to chide me about on Monday. I missed the first kilometer marker, but passed the second in I believe 8:40 (around a 7:00/mile pace). I suspected that I couldn’t keep this pace going the whole race, but I did my best to slow down as slowly as possible.

The kilometers ticked away, with around two kilometers to go my right hamstring was aching and it took all my concentration to keep pushing. My pace was fading fast but I knew if I just hold the pace I would come close to last year’s race time. As I heard the cheering from the stadium and the finish we started climbing a small hill, I pressed past several runners who slowed for this hindrance, with less then a half mile to go I tried to get my legs to move faster, but the more I stretched the more my hamstring ached.

Finally I made a final turn and broke into the stadium. As I saw the finish line less then 400 meters ahead I did my best to sprint around the track. I managed to pass a couple more runners as I finally broke over the finish line. I glanced at the clock and couldn’t believe my eyes, 42:20, a new PR - thirty-seven seconds faster than last year!

I caught my breath, picked up a sports drink and headed over to the finish line to cheer in the coworkers who hadn’t arrived yet. Several of us ended up giving our support. As the last runner from my company arrived most of my coworker dissipated, but I decided to wait for a friend (and coworker) Barbara, who was walking the event. Her brother, who works in my office and also ran the event, was also waiting. We waited for about 10 minutes as numerous walkers finished, then I decided that Barbara must be having a hard time so decided to run out and meet her. Her brother was still beat from the race so declined. I jogged back out onto the course dogging walkers and the occasional runner as I went. As I started down the hill that led up to the stadium I saw Barbara slowly climbing up the hill. I fell in with her and tried to encourage her. As we headed down the other side of the hill she picked up her form again and we took off at a pretty good power walking pace. As we entered the stadium I could see the relief on her face as we marched around to the finish. I joined her brother on the sidelines and let her have her moment of glory for herself as she crossed the finish. Cool!

Comments

Congratulations Jack! It took me awhile to figure out it was longer than a mile.

You're awesome for a couple of reasons, not the least of which being your PR - congratulations!!

Congrats!

Congrats on the PR, Jack!

I would be really self-conscious to run with people from the office, unless I ran like you. They'd see me all falling apart and stinky. :P

I've always wondered if its better to charge up a hill like that and gain the time, or to go slow and lose some time but keep some energy. I've always charged. :)

Nice job, Jack!

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