This is my recap of the Autumnfest race held on Thanksgiving Day. Jen and I participate in this race in memory of ‘Papa’ Jen’s grandfather who passed away in 2000 and we both ran the race that year before driving to NC.
Like I said in my previous post, Jen did not run because she was not in shape (read: pregnant). Instead, we left the house early so that we could get her to the race to find out where she was going to a volunteering. When we arrived, it was rather frigid. I had brought a number of different layers of clothing, since I knew it would be over an hour before the race started. I had sweats, climalyte type jacket, hat, gloves just to stay warm, although it was forecasted to have some rain at some point in the day, I did not have any rain gear with me. We found out that Jen would be just past the one-mile marker to direct runners at the first major turn on the course. It would a straight walk from where we were, the Start/Finish area, to her station. We ran into Beth MacDonald, who happened to be near the 1-1/2 mile mark as a volunteer. Normally, she would be running, but a few nagging injuries has kept her out of running this fall. The three of us walked up to where Jen needed to be and I stayed until there was about 20 minutes until race time. I used the trip back to the Start Line as a warm-up. I didn’t see anyone I knew at the race start although I knew that a few people were going to be there. The gun went off and we started down the course in the reverse direction of an exit. THe problem with this is that the exit has barrier on either side and so there is a congestion problem during the start. This lasts for only less tan 0.2 of a mile, then we are on Neyland drive which is a two lane road with space on the shoulder, this allowed the bottle neck to spread out. Last year, I spent most of the first mile trying to dodge traffic, which wastes so much energy, and was pissed at my time. This year, I decided to just bear with the traffic and make my way to where I had more room to increase my pace without have to change direction to avoid slower runners. At mile 1 my pace was a 9:20 mile and I though to myself, WOW, this is really slow for what I had wanted to accomplish for this year. So, I picked up the pace a bit and ran my 2nd mile in 8:25. The last 3 miles are on a relatively flat area (for Knoxville) and so mile 3’s pace was 8:03 and Mile 4 was 8:05. I finished the last mile fast at 7:21 for a official final time of 41:10. I was please that I had almost technical negative splits for each of the miles. My next race will be the Reindeer Run on the 5th in Maryville, it is a 5k and I don’t really care about my time, I just care about the prizes afterward!!