Ever since I magically became a runner in February 1998 there were a few races that I did in 1999 which were the same as 1998. And in 2000, some of the same. Well, due to scheduling conflicts and other events, there were 2 races at the start of the year which were on my schedule as races with the longest streak. They were the Tridelathon (in April) and the Scholar's Run 5k (in August). The events with my biological dad precluded me from participating in the Trideltathon, thus making the Scholar's Run the only sanctioned race that I have done each consectutive year since 1998. So, I am taking some time to highlight this race and my history with it.
About the Race
2006 will be the 30th year of the race and the proceeds go to fund two annual scholarships for local high school runners that are going to run in college. The race is sponored by the Foothill Striders, an athletic Running/Biking/Hiking club, Ruby Tuesdays (the restaurant's headquarters is in Maryville, TN), Maryville, Alcoa and Blount County Parks & Rec Commission and have other corporate sponsors such as: East Tennessee Heart Consultants, First Tennessee, Blount Memorial Wellness Center, Donna J Bailey and CBBC.
The race starts and finishes at the gynasium on the Maryville College campus, but also explores the adjacent neighborhood. Like most races in East Tennessee 'thar be some hills' and so it's not really a course that you would PR on, although before the course change I had 2 PR times.
The First Time
Be gentle, Scholar's Run. This was my 6th race of my running career and my 5th 5k (3.1 mile) race. My current PR at the time was a 24:12 which I ran at my very first 5k Love your Library. I don't remember a whole lot, but when I finish in 23:07, I was estatic! I stayed for the awards and it turns out that the guy who finished in front of me was in my age group. When I picked up speed at the finish line, so did he and I couldn't pass him, thus giving me a 5th place finish. This has happened only at this race, but I was given a 5th place ribbon! I had some software to take home to show my accomplishment. I was also the 33rd finisher out of 99, which isn't too bad.
The Next Year
Party Like It's 1999. In May, at the Run for the Deaf, I cracked the 23 minute barrier for a PR of 22:29. This PR would not have a chance at the Scholar's Run. The 1998 race was in April, but the date for 1999 (and here after) was changed to August to give a more even spacing for the Ruby Tuesday Triple Crownn. In the late summer heat and the hills of Maryville, I finished in 22:07… exactly one minute faster than the previous year's results. This was also the first time that I placed in my Age Division! Instead of a ribbon, I got a medal for the 3rd fastest in the 25-29 Male Age Group.
I did not have the success as the previous years. I still had a respectable time of 22:51. Despite being in the Top 31% of finishers, I was 10th in my age group.
In 2001, the challenging course took on a new life. Changes in the course made the last 0.5-0.75 miles more gruling. I was also coming out of rehab from a pulled hamstring that left me waylaid for all of summer. I finished in 24:24 and 12th in my age group.
Although I would end up setting my current PR time later that year, the 2002 Scholar's Run ended in a 23:13 finish time and 5th in my age group.
Races and kids
With the birth of my first son, my racing took a big decline in the number of miles. So, when I toed the line in 2003, I knew I was no match for this course, but it was a welcome back race of sorts. I finished in 27:36, which is my slowest 5k time when running by myself. I was 11th in my age group, which goes to show you that you never know where you might land any given race.
A little better prepared, 24:57 and 5th in my age group.
First race after the birth of my second son, a little better at 24:36 and still 5th in my age group.
I have been training all summer and in the summer heat. I think that I have a decent chance to possibly get close to an age group award if I don't bonk. The nice thing is that there are 4 other road races in the area, so hopefully it will disperse the talent a little, but what can I do?
Triple Crown of Racing
Ruby Tuesday is a sponsor of the race and if you want swag, then the three races in the Triple Crown are ones to run. The three races are Spring Sprint (March), Scholar's Run (August) and Reindeer Run (December).
Each of the races has great race bags, who ever picks the gifts out are awesome! If you run in at least the Reindeer Run and one other race, then you are entered into the Triple Crown Prize Drawing. They have about 15-20 items to raffle and the minimum is $100 (as in $100 cash and $100 Gift Cerificates!). They have other stuff such as DVD players, TV, Gatlinburg Hotel Getaways and the winning prize – two airline tickets to anywhere in the US.
I have won regular raffle prizes but none of the Triple Crown ones… I will win one this year, I will win one this year!!!