2009 World Wide Festival Of Races Race Report

There is a podcast version of this in the works. It’s just that I have been migrating my computer stuff at work from a dead WinXP machine to a new and speedy Windows7 machine. So, my processing power quadrupled! Which means that I can work easier, but I have been in the process of getting stuff to the “way I like it”. One thing that I have been doing is getting the programs that worked on a legacy OS like WinXP to work on Windows7. Thankfully, working with Windows7 is a WHOLE lot easier than Vista! Almost all of the programs that I used to use are working just fine. One program/device that I have to install is my iRiver ifp895 which is my main podcasting device. It’s not so Windows friendly, mainly because the driver isn’t in the device and you have to install manually. Also, the proprietary iRiver Music Manager sometimes has “issues” with seeing the device. Dunno why… I should look into recorder that records directly to MP3 and will drag and drop when plugged into a computer (windows or linux).

Anyway, this past weekend was the FOURTH ANNUAL World Wide Festival of Races! It’s hard to believe that this was our Fourth Year, but it was! Once again, I chose to do the Half Marathon distance despite the fact that I had a TOTAL of 6 miles in 2 different running sessions (4 miles on 9/12 and 2 miles on 10/2)! I figure that I was stoopid enough had enough experience with running that I could tell if I was getting ready to die breaking my body getting into some trouble. This year, I didn’t have the kids, which is nice not having an extra 100lbs to push along the 13.1 mile course, especially when I was a little severely under trained. Also this year, I was thinking about the course that I would run, as if I went the traditional out-and-back course that I had done the previous times, it would leave me pretty far out, if there was any “emergencies” (such as severe cramps, or exhaustion). Also, there was a UT home football game, which would cause some issues because my Course of Choice would take me through Volunteer Landing and behind Neyland Stadium. With the Vol Navy and 100,000 spectators in the general area, this be way too much traffic to negotiate… TWICE.

Taking into account the game, I also decided that it would be best to run DURING the game. Thus if there was traffic around the campus, it would be at a minimum. I would be parking a few miles off of campus, but when you bring in 100,000 people to a football game, the traffic tends to pick up. I made it to the Third Creek Greenway parking area at Earthfare just after 1:00pm. The first quarter to the game was just about over, and so, it would work out time-wise, if I didn’t have any issues. The question was now: what course should I take?

From where I was parked, I could take 3 different directions. The parking lot was close to where the Sutherland Greenway and the Bearden Greenway merged together and so I could take either one. If I took the Bearden Greenway, it would be an Out-and-Back to my location. Taking the Sutherland Greenway could be an Out-and-Back or I could make it a loop where it connected up with Third Creek Greenway. What I decided was to go out on Bearden Greenway and back (2.5 Miles), Go out on Sutherland Greenway and back (2.5 miles) and then go out on Third Creek Greenway (4.1 miles) and then back (4.0 miles).

Bearden Greenway (2.5 miles: 23:22, 23:22)

Heading out initially wasn’t that big of a deal. Despite being 9 days since I had last run, I think the excitement from the Festival of Races was enough to jumpstart my engines. And like in true Terry Form, I started out way to fast! There was a mild threat of rain, but that never bothered me during the run. The nice thing was that the Sun stayed in the cloud and didn’t beat down on me. I did have a water bottle with me and I had routed my course that I would be able to keep my water bottle filled and have some access to food during my run.

During my run, I did have someone stop me and ask me for directions. I was happy to oblige since this was the WORLD WIDE Festival of Races and it was quite obvious that the gentleman lost on his bike was from another part of the World. I made it back to the car in 23:22, where I filled up my water bottle and headed back out.

Sutherland Greenway (2.5 miles: 25:04, 48:26)

The Sutherland Greenway is merely a sidewalk, but a sidewalk with Mile Markers! There’s alot more “action” out on Sutherland Ave since it’s a minor road in the area with a sizable amount of businesses on it, plus a High School and some Off Campus UT housing. This really keeps you aware of what is around you, as you don’t want to get creamed by someone coming out of a driveway or parking lot. Thankfully, it went by pretty quickly and without incident. My time was fairly comparable to the Bearden Greenway section, but the slowing-down had begun.

Third Creek Greenway (4.1 miles: 43:50, 1:32:16)

Running on Third Creek is probably my favorite place to run on asphalt in the area. There are plenty of hills, there’s a park with a bathroom and water fountain and there’s a number of terminus points of other sidewalks/greenways which allows for a customizable route of just about any length. This part of the run would take me out on Third Creek to where I would connect with the Neyland Greenway. This would then take me toward Volunteer Landing and Neyland Stadium, but since I had already gone 5 miles, I wouldn’t have to get into the hustle and bustle of the game traffic. My legs where already pretty sore at this point. I was finding a rising pain in my shins. It wasn’t like shin splits, it was highly localized, but I am sure that it was shoe (degradation) related or an over-use on a weak muscle. Once at the turn around point, I stopped to work out the muscle, plus… very conveniently was a group of tailgators watching the game. I heard the fireworks while I was on Third Creek, which indicates that Tennessee had scored (either Touchdown or Field Goal, but you don’t know which). I wasn’t sure if that was just us trying to stay in the game, or if we were just trying not to get shut-out. It was neither… we were well in control of the game and I got to see a couple plays before I started back to the car.

Third Creek Greenway (2.0 miles: 23:44, 1:56:00)

Working out the pain in my shin turned out to be pretty effective. It did flair back up once again, but working on it a second time and it was fine. I had ran out of water but was able to get refill at Tyson Park, but it would have to last me until I finished, and at this point, I was drinking like a fish. I was trying to avoid having to stop to walk, because I knew that once I stopped to walk, it would be pretty much over for speed at that point. I made it to the 11 mile mark before I had to go into a Survival mode of walk-run.

Third Creek Greenway to Finish (2.0 miles: 31:00, 2:27:00)

At this point, it was to keep my speed around a 4:00 walking 800 meters (1/4 mile). At first, I was able to walk close to a 1/4 mile and then run some, but that drifted down to a “run whenever I felt like I could”. I was able to keep the pace fast enough to keep my 2 miles under 32 minutes, but it really showed about how far I could really sustain a 10 minute mile. I was very happy to finish and running the 13.1 miles despite not having the proper training (i.e. Don’t Try This At Home).

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Congratulations to all those that participated in this year’s World Wide Festival of Races! Once again, we had a bunch of runners in many different countries! Next year will be the FIFTH year! The distances of the World Wide Festival of Races include a Kick the Couch 5k (3.1 miles), The Zen Run 10k (6.2 miles) and the World Wide Half marathon (13.1 miles). Entry fee to this event is FREE. The training programs are FREE (though, you physically have to do them for them to work), the Training Log (powered by Buckeye Outdoors) is FREE! In addition, you can print a customized Bib Number, plus finisher’s certificate… BOTH FREE ( you have to supply the printer). You also get a Goody Bag (PDF file) that’s very similar to the Bags that you get a Packet Pick-up at Race… which will cost you DOUBLE of your Entry Fee, oh, which is again NOTHING! And if you missed the Festival this year, don’t sweat! Next year’s campaign will start shortly after the New Year, which if you have not looked at a calendar in a while is not too far off!

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon