Background: The Scholar's Run is a long standing (29th annual)local 5k race which is used to fund scholarships for 4 local runners for college. It is the sencond leg of the Ruby Tuesday's (HQ in Maryville, TN) Triple Crown of Racing. Traditionally, with RT being a sponsor, the race bags are often filled with some good stuff, more on that later. For me, this race is one of my favorites. It was the first race that I received any recognition for finishing in my age group. I received a ribbon for placing 5th, I could have had fourth, but the guy out sprint me at the end. Also, before they changed the course in 2001, it was the site of 2 PR records, 23:07 in 1998 and then 22:07 in 1999 (which held for 3 years). I enjoy the new course because of the brutal hills (I will analyze the hill structure soon) on the course.
Race Day: THe forecast for the day was going to be HOT HOT HOT and what compounded that was that the previous' nights low was not very low. So the temp at 7am when I got there was already high. Check-in was was organized, as always, I also was able to use the bathroom before the crowds (Thank goodness). I made two loops around the campus as warmups which was about 1.5 miles, but it gave me a chance to practice on the hill that you have to run at the beginning of the race and at the end of the race, so it is important to know what you are going to face. I stretched a bit before the gun went off and then jumped into the crowd, somewhere in the front 3rd of the starting group.
The first hill was rather easy, I was able to keep my current pace and thus pass many of the people who started off a little too fast. As we were leaving campus, I hit the 1 mile at 7:46 which was about what I felt I was running. It wasn't too difficult, but I knew that I was working. As you leave campus you turn right into another hill for about 0.3 of a mile, but then it's either flat or downhill for a while. I hit the 2nd mile at 15:41, a little slower mile, but knowing what was coming up, I was trying to conserve when I could. The last half mile is 80% hill and 20% flat, thank goodness the flat part is at the end, but the hill is nothing to snear at. I dug in deep to keep my feet moving up the hill. I know that I passed a bunch of people while on the turns of the hill, as I came to the top of the hill, I contemplated the runners in front of me that I could over take before the finish line. There was no 3 mile mark, but I think as I hit the last 0.15 miles is when I lengthened my stride and picked up the pace. I ended up passing 2 people before I finished in 24:36. Looking Back to what I was shooting for, I made it right on the money. I wanted to finish between 24:30 and 24:45! Here are my split times:
On a sad note, I didn't win any door prizes and I was not an group winner…
You can browse all of my race results on my running corner