A week after crushing my Sand Hollow Marathon, and marathon PR, I had a bib for the Celebrate Education 8k, sponsored by Subaru of Las Vegas – benefiting the Las Vegas Track Club. This year’s race was in a new location, a race venue change was needed due to growing race field, as well as venue reservations necessitating a change.
While the previous races were held on the near flat Sunset Park trail system, 2016’s race was held at Kellogg-Zaher Park.
Huddling in the starting corral with the other competitors, we tried to stay warm, despite the very windy & chilly morning’s best effort. Once the start bullhorn siren went off, we took off up the first hill of the course. The cruel reality of this new route was an uphill start, followed by a mile long descent, a small climb, then turn around, and return from where we started.
At the turn-around, my Wednesday night Sin City Road Runners group running partner David let me know I was currently in 12th overall. This was shocking, as I was not going for any discernible placement.
My right leg was feeling very heavy, and sluggish once I hit the mile long climb back to the course’s high point. I tried focusing on the runners ahead of me, slowly reeling them in. Gusts of the crosswind were nearly tripping me, failing each time.
With each step, I was slowly gaining on the runner in front of me. Going past some friends, and the race director, they yelled at me to keep reeling him in. By the top of the hill, he only had 10 yards on me. Turning around, he spotted me & sprinted down toward the finish line.
Usually, the competitive fire would have lit up, and I would have gone for another position. With how my leg was feeling, and knowing many more races were lined up this year, I continued at my pace to the finish.
The change in venue added a different level of difficulty to the race, which is not necessarily a bad thing!