There are a whole lotta Red River Runners taking part in Grandma’s Marathon this year. Since the marathon is 8 weeks from today, our trainer Martin wanted us to do a 10K (6.2 mile) time trial. It so happens that our friends in Crookston were having just such a race today, so a dozen of us decided to pay them a visit!
Alpha Lambda Delta hosts the race and call it the “π Run.” The interesting thing is that instead of offering traditional 5K (3.1 miles) and 10K (6.2 miles) races they have π (3.14 miles) and 2π (6.28 miles). Carl and I took part in the 2π as did most everyone else in our group. Our goal was to finish with an average pace pf 7:08 per mile. We each wore our own Garmin GPS watches and had agreed to split up if one of us couldn’t keep up.
The first π went around the streets of Crookston, going up and down some hills and handling the strong wind. We were able to maintain our pace, but Carl fell back a few steps. It probably would have worked better for him if he had warmed up or taken a mile or so to gradually work up to the pace, but jumping right into a 7 minute pace took its toll on him.
By the time we came back around to the starting area, completing our first π, Martin was leading the pack and I was in second place, maybe a hundred yards behind. We then followed the police escort out of town into an extremely brisk head wind for our second π. I focused my attention on holding as fast a pace as I could maintain while still leaving something in the tank for the final 1.5 miles back with the wind. I was happy with a pace of 7:25 into the wind, but Martin was still pulling away from me.
To my great relief, I finally saw Martin turn around up ahead so I knew that my time fighting the wind was also about over. We met in the middle of the road and encouraged each other with an exchanged hand slap as we passed, then Martin was gone!
I reached the turnaround point and felt immediate relief as the wind went from being my enemy to being my best friend. AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way” came up on my play list and I felt energized and ready to leave some rubber on the road! I took off and was confident that the final 1.5 miles would be the fastest of the day for me! I started giving hand slaps to my friends and son as I passed them on the way back and got even more energized! This race was FUN!
I was running through the barren Minnesota countryside at a 7:00 pace fueled by my friends and son’s encouragement along with a little extra boost from Pat Benatar’s “Invincible” and Bon Jovi’s “Runaway.” It’s always exciting to finish a race strong and this one was easy thanks to the tail wind.
Martin ended up easily winning the 2π. I placed second with a personal record (PR) of 45:22, and fellow Red River Runner Jason took third. My friend Jessica won the women’s division and fellow runner Deb took second. Everyone from Red River Runners did exceptional today and runners from our club took 5 of the 6 awards for the 2π race and set several PRs. Nathan, the only RRR running the 1π, ended up winning that race. It was a fun day, and guess what: Everyone received a piece of pie during the post race presentations! How great is that?!!