Tag Archives: autumnfest 8k

2008 Autumnfest 8k

Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving in our household without going to the annual Autumnfest 8k, at least not for the past 7 years. In 2000, My Lovely and Talented Wife’s grandfather passed away right before Thanksgiving, his wake was thanksgiving evening with the funeral the next day. My Lovely and Talented Wife decided to join me since she had some extra energy and we weren’t leaving for Albemarle, NC until later that day. In fact, our Thanksgiving dinner was at an O’Charley’s restaurant. We took that year’s race shirt and put an iron-on the back saying that we were running in honor of her grandfather. This is the only race shirt that I will wear at sanctioned races, all other races, I make an effort to not wear a road race t-shirt. Don’t ask me why… it’s one of those weird things about me.

Either we run the race or volunteer for the race or sometimes, if we can get a pre-race job, we do both at the same race. This year, I was part of the Day of Race sign-in crew and My Lovely and Talented Wife was part of the Finishing Line crew. But she didn’t stop there, she helped out with the post race food, which I missed out on (I’m not crying though) and actually took my spot with 3 minutes to race start so that I wouldn’t miss the race. She’s so sweet.

Pre Race
Day of Registration went from a slow walk to 5k pace in the matter of minutes. There were 3 of us there and we were processing people as fast as we could! It was extremely hectic! Come to find out there were over 800 people registered with 740 finishers, compared to last 2 years of around 600+ finishers. Plus the place that we were located was smaller than it was last year. We ran out of safety pins and we ran out of entry forms. People were having to use masking tape to fasten their bibs. I had two weird requests, one I didn’t get until I was thinking about during the race, the other was very obvious.

The first guy asked if I could reach down into the stack and get the number 777. We were pretty busy and I didn’t want to start to set a precedent for getting numbers. You get the number that you get even if it’s 666. So, it wasn’t until that I was running that I put 2 and 2 together and figure that he wanted 777 for the religious reference to the number “7”. The second request was someone came up while it was really busy and ask if he could change his number. Apparently, he didn’t like his number “666”. Well, I really couldn’t do anything at this point, because the entry form was already taken and entered into the computer. Had it been a smaller race, we probably could have swapped his number for something less controversial such as “69” (dude) or “911” but today he was running with the Mark of the Beast. Although if he ran on his hands, he would be “999”.

Race Start
I make my way out to the race start and I see the effect of how swamped we were at Day of Race registration… it was packed! There was no way that I would be able to get to the upper 3rd of the mass of people, I stuck off to the side and wished for the best. After the national anthem and the gun, I followed the mass to the starting line. I was still walking as I cross the start line… so much for a PR (not that I was shooting for one).

Mile 1
The biggest problem with Autumnfest is the start, for the first 0.25 of a mile, the mass of runners are confined to a one lane exit ramp, until you hit Neyland Drive, where it widens to 2 lanes. To make things a little worse, the exit ramp is enclosed with concrete barriers. So just as water expands out to the sides of it’s container, so do runners on the road. This in essence stifles the faster runners who are behind groups of slower runners, thus making positioning before the gun goes off to start the race much more important.

I was not making too many moves to pass runners though. I made that rookie mistake of weaving in and out of traffic once in a race and paid for it dearly. Instead, I stayed steady until it opened up, swung to the left and passed on the shoulder of the road. I now had a clearer path in front of me. Unfortunately there was a small demoralizing headwind. My Split time: 8:26

Mile 2
At the call of the split time, I realize that I’m about 20 seconds in the hole finishing time wise, but that I could still salvage something. A cold light rain is now falling and I am wishing that I had some more layers on that what I have. I’m slowly picking up speed, but holding back some as I know where the hill is on the course and I have yet to reach it. My Split time: 7:44

Mile 3
With the hills out of the way, I know that I can speed up a little bit. I am pacing behind runners that are faster than me, glancing ahead to see the color of shirts. This way I can pick out my goal runner to beat, a standard race strategy. My Split Time: 7:27

Mile 4
I’m finally warmed up, and things feel easier now. In addition, I am starting on the part of the course that I ran earlier in the week. I do an analysis to see how much I have left in the tank for the final approach. I’ve abandoned my normal “goal runner to beat” strategy. I know that my split times have been going down and that I can get a decent time, if I just hang in there. My Split Time: 7:27

Mile 5 (really 4.972)
I’m on auto-pilot right now, the test run in week of running the last mile has paid off. I don’t have to think about anything other than my pace. I’m not even concerned about the runners in front of me. As I divert onto the exit ramp, signaling the last 0.25 of a mile I look ahead for the time clock. I notice a group of runners in front of me and I find another gear and speed up some. I see the time clock in the distance about 0.1 to go and there are 4 runners that I can pass before the finish line. I have this finish line mindset where I “disengage” my brain from running and I really stop thinking about everything other than pass “x” number of runners, or the runner in the red shirt, etc. That’s my only focus and I lay it all out on the course. Here at the end, I disengaged and pass those four runners and came in just behind the last person of the group in front of us. I knew that I couldn’t pass them in the short distance, but I was able to cut the distance to nothing. My Split Time: 6:52 (but with the extra 0.028 mi for a standard mile, the pace was really a 7:04)

A 38:26 official finishing time is not bad at all for me considering the congested, windy, cold start. The fact that I was able to maintain negative splits as well is very encouraging as well. So, a nice Thanksgiving run in honor of My Lovely and Talented Wife’s grandfather overall. I finished 187 out of 740 and was 29th out of 54 in my age group. The guy who won my age group came in 24:58! Now, that is FAST!

The Winner is…

Michele with her time of 38:27!!

She pulled the Classic “The Price is Right” move and made her guess just one second slower than Greg’s. And that is all she needed to come 1 second within my official race time of 38:28.

Official Race results can be found at the KTC results website, then click year “2007”, the Autumnfest 8k for the race. I’m finisher #187!

Thanks for everyone who participated in this race’s Guess My Time. I may have another contest for my 5k next Sunday, December 2nd… Reindeer Run 5k.

I’ll have my official Autumnfest 8k race report on Monday, but I’ll just leave you with this: I ran negative splits the entire way.

The Autumnfest Tune Up

My interval run today was my tune up for the race tomorrow. I am fortunate to work very close to the Autumnfest course. In fact, I could run the entire course, if I had planned my day appropriately, but I wasn’t in running the whole course, just the finish line. This will be the 4th running on this particular course and it’s one of the flatter courses in the Knoxville Area. By no means is it level, but the last 2.5 miles of the course (I should have just said last half) is gently rolling.

The course is run on Neyland Drive and all though I couldn’t run on the road at lunch time, I did run on the generous shoulder and that was pretty close. I was in good spirits during the run and did some race day visualization for tomorrow morning. I was imaging, how I was feeling at points on the course, and I also started to this of some race say strategy on when to begin the final push toward the Finish Line and when to “engage” the boosters at the end of the race.

My Lovely and Talented Wife will be on the Finish Line crew volunteering and I will be part of the Day of Race Registration. This is one position that I can volunteer for and still run the race. It’s like double dipping!

So everything looks pretty good to go. I’ll need to eat a little extra tonight and have a solid breakfast in the morning. But other than everything else is about ready to go.

Don’t forget to play the It’s Race Week! Be a Winner contest

It’s Race Week! Be a Winner

That’s right ladies and germs, it’s race week… and a short race week at that, so let me get to point.

You Guess. I Run. You’ll Probably Lose. But if You Don’t Guess, You Can’t Win.

So what are you going to win this time? Tell them Bob:

Win This!

There you go! And for my Non-USA entrants, I will get you a prize of equal value and send it to you. How does that sound? So this is the rules. You need to contact me before the 8:30am Eastern Start Time of the Autumnfest 8k with your prediction of my official finishing time for the race. The person with the closest time will be the winner, and that is either under or over my actual time. However, the tie breaker will be the time that was under my actual finishing time because I like you more because you thought I would be faster. In exchange for the win, I will need either your credit card with 3-digit pin code or your mailing address. I can get you a really GREAT gift if you give me both…

If you Guess the EXACT time, I’ll send you a Terry Special: TWO Tickets!

Have no idea WHAT time to give me? Here’s some things to help you pencil in your winning time.

  • My Slowest Time is 42:15 (which was my very first road race in 1998) and my Fastest is 35:49 (1999). My Times for Autumnfest 8k (8 kilometers is equivalent to 5 miles for my non-metricized readers) are as follows: 38:22 (1999), 40:05 (2000), 38:58 (2001), 40:23 (2002), 39:42 (2003), 41:10 (2004), 37:40 (2005), and 37:54 (2006).
  • In 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 were all Autumnfests that followed 12 days after a marathon. This year’s race will be 12 days after a marathon.
  • Weather on race day, as of this blog composition is 57F and Chance of Showers.
  • Don’t be afraid to guess something, anything… last time I did this I think I had two people enter… AND two people won! Because I had Two prizes.

The Holiday Running Season

Now that I have the marathon PR in my back pocket, there is time now to look on the calendar for the rest of the year. On the docket is Autumnfest 8k and the Reindeer Run 5k.

Autumnfest 8k (Thanksgiving Day) – My Lovely and Talented Wife and I run/volunteer at this race every year since 2000 when her grandfather “PaPa” past away and we traveled to Albemarle NC Thanksgiving Day for the viewing. Having some pent up anxiety, she decided that she would run the race with me that Thanksgiving Morning in 2000. Ever since we have both ran or volunteered as a memorial for PaPa. In the past, Autumnfest has been a let-down race for my personal performance when it has followed after a November Marathon (Richmond). I am uncertain how I will fair this year since my recovery from Chickamauga has been nothing less than miraculous. I could have ran at lunch today (Wednesday) if I had wanted and even Tuesday would have been probably fine. I’ll probably have a “Guess My Time” for this race and will post something next week about it.

Reindeer Run 5k (December 2nd) – It’s typically the last Hurrah race of the year. I don’t run the local Jingle Bell Jog because even though it’s for a good cause, the entry free is exorbitant at $25 for a 5k. Sure, I am for the charity thing and all and when I am making hand-over-fist bags of cash, I’ll contribute. But right now, I am having to run cheaply and that means watching my entry fees. I’m taking the no-shirt option on races when I can just for the $5 discount. That and the fact that when it comes to race shirts… I have more than I can donate. So, the Reindeer Run is the 3rd of the Ruby Tuesday Triple Crown of Running (Spring Sprint, Scholar’s Run are the other two). As a runner who has run in both the previous 2 races, I will be eligible for the special Triple Crown Memento (which has been good in the past) and I also qualify for the Triple Crown Drawing. The have a door prize raffle for those at the race and then they have the Triple Crown Door Prize which are prizes that are at least $100 and the grand prize is airfare for two in the continental United States. So, when I win, you might see My Lovely and Talented Wife and Myself at a marathon near you!

I just looked at the Local Racing Calendar and I noticed the Oak Ridge Half Marathon on December 8th. This is a new time for this race, or rather new to me. WHen I ran it back in 2000, it was mid-October. Well… this may mean that I won’t be done yet for the year. It would be dependent on a few other things that aren’t quite inked in the calendar yet, but it is nice to know that there is something else out there that I might be able to do.


If it hadn't been for my lining up a little towards the back and taking me 13 seconds to get to the start line, I might have actually made it 37:30. Instead I was 37:40 being 127 out of 607 and 8 out of 30 in my age group. Despite making the goal time that I wanted, it was by no means easy or that enjoyable while I was running. I started to get a stitch in my diaphram area around mile 2 and it stuck with me for the entire race. My legs felt fine for the entire race, it was my core muscles that felt like crap. I think it was that I was in auto-pilot for those last 2 miles that kept me on target. Actually, I almost ran negative splits for the entire race, which absolutely baffled me because I SWORE that I was slowing down for the last mile, which I ran my fastest… go figure. So here is my box score:

Split Split Distance Overall Distance Split Time Split Pace Overall Time Comments
1 1.0 1.0 7:40 7:40 &nbsp
2 1.0 2.0 7:44 15:24 &nbsp
3 1.0 3.0 7:25 22:49 &nbsp
4 1.0 4.0 7:52 30:21 &nbsp
5 1.0 5.0 7:05 37:40 Terry's “chip” time 37:26

Autumnfest Eve (Papa's Race)

Okay, I seemed to be obsessing over the 8k tomorrow when I am not evening going for a PR. But am I going for a course record? Hmmm… let me check that.

I am looking for a 37:30 finish for an 8k (5 miler) that is a 7:30 minute per mile pace. My current course record for Autumnfest is 39:42 (for the current course) which they changed in 2003 (I think).
So yes, this will be a course record and a race record for that matter. This is my 3rd most personally attended race and will be the 7th consecutive year that I have ran this race.

This race is dedicated to William “PaPa” Adkins (1914-2000) who was like a grandfather to Jen. He passed away right before Thanksgiving in 2000 and instead of staying in Knoxville for Thanksgiving we were going to travel to North of Charlotte for the wake and funeral the next day. Since we were not leaving until the afternoon, Jen decided that she would run this race in memory of him. This was the first time that she had every run 5 miles and ran with a friend for most of the race. We even took the race shirts that year and put on an iron-on transfer with “Running in Memory of William “PaPa” Adkins (1914-2000)” and wear them to that race. One of my quirks is that I do NOT wear race shirts to races… except for this one. So ever since 2000 we run or volunteer for this race. This year, I have a 37:30 goal and Jen is going to be working the finishing line.

So the next post will probably be a race report!

I keep failing to mention that sometime earlier this month I surpassed 400 miles for the year.

Pre Race Day #1

Well, I didn't exercise at lunch today because I am in another mini-taper for my Thanksgiving race – Autumnfest 8k. I would like to thank the co-worker that brought in what can best be described as Terrybane… or commercially known as Tootsie Rolls. I have been “carbo-loading” with these things all day long, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, thank goodness that they are lower in fat than Tootsie Rolls cousins such as Snickers and Twix (just to name two). I think that I may have eaten the entire bag… oops.

So, this rest day is supposed to help me perform faster on Thursday. So in the long term, the taper is supposed to help me. In the short term, it drives me crazy. But I should mention that this mini-taper is a little more drastic than the regular taper that I use for marathons. In that taper, I generally reduce the number of miles that I run gradually over 14-17 days before the marathon. At this point in training there is little more that you can do and the only BIG thing that you can do it injure yourself by OVER training.

So, we runners taper. Being the educated runner that I am, I am applying this mantra to my shorter races. So for my 8k on Thursday, I ran 2.3 yesterday and nothing for today and Wednesday (Autumnfest eve). Tonight, I will also make some sort of pasta with jalepeno ranch dressing dish or Torta (a filipino dish that is more like an omelete on steroids – but not EPO) and rice. This will aid in my carbo-loading, so that I will have plenty O' Glycogen to battle Lactic Acid Thursday morning.

Something else that I did in efforts to make me faster was get a hair cut. I attached a before and after picture just for posterity. And since Laura made such a funny comment yesterday
(hardy har har), you'll see that my mono brow has been severed like a finger in stowaway bed… or at least until it grows back.

Autumnfest Race Report

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!!