Thursday, July 26, 2012

Race Report: Rock to Pier Run in Morro Bay, California

It looked to be the most loaded field in Rock to Pier history.  Past champions, my nephew, my kind-of nephew, and my wife were slated to toe the starting line at the fourth annual Family Reunion 6-mile Rock to Pier run on July 17, 2012.  My wife and I started the tradition at our family reunion after running the actual live event in 2008.

In addition to these past champions, athletes from the other two houses involved in the beach side reunion were scheduled to give it a whirl.  An early starting time, tons of children to tend, and a rumor of rum drinking, however, limited the participants to only 3--me and 2 brothers-in-law.

I was very confident of a top 3 finish.

I'm on the right. Race Champion Kearby is on the left.  Parry is in the middle.
My goal was to come in under 50 minutes.  I ran the first two miles in 16:07 and felt very confident in not just a sub-50, 6-miler, but perhaps a sub-49.  Then mile 3 happened.  Mile 3 contains a 50-yard rocky surface to traverse during low tide.  We did not begin the race at low tide and the 50-yard rocky surface became a 100-yard rocky surface, 100 yards that slowed me to a 9-minute pace and threw me out of rhythm.  At the half way point I was a bit over my 50-minute goal pace and mile 4 did little to improve my confidence, an 8:22 mile that left the end in doubt.

That's when my improved aerobic capacity made an appearance.  I ran the next mile in 8:12 and the 6th mile in 8:01.  If the race distance were actually six miles, I would have easily come in under the 50-minute time goal I had established (as you may have deduced by adding the six times together).  The race distance is not six miles.  It's 6.04 miles.

Since I sprinted the last half-mile, I didn't bother to look at my watch, so when I crossed the finish line, I had no idea if I'd achieved my goal.  I hit stop on the watch, looked down, and saw...


I'd done it.  I set a personal course record (it's the 6th time I've done this race) by 3:29 and beat my goal.  Unfortunately, I finished seven minutes behind my brother-in-law who shattered the family reunion record by over four minutes.  I finished second for the second straight year and crushed my other brother-in-law who beat me two years before.

We left the two babies at the beach house (supervised) and celebrated ocean style.  I'm back row left next to my lovely wife.  The three children are ours: Savannah, Trenton, and Mazie (from right to left).
We decided to move the race time back to 10:00 next year to increase participation, regardless of tides, which means I'll really have to train to procure a top 3 finish.