This race is held at the Old Trail Golf club in Crozet. It takes place around Valentines Day each year. The setting is beautiful, the course is challenging and everybody runs with a partner. You don’t have to actually run together, but your times are combined to determine your placement within your division. They have male/male, female/female, male/female, husband/wife and parent/child divisions.
We arrived early, because that’s just what we do. It was freezing cold with a biting wind, so we were very grateful that packet pick-up was held inside the club. We stood in line for a few minutes, until we were all informed that they were only taking race-day registrations, and that everybody who had pre-registered would have to wait.
We went and sat down for a while, then at about 7:30, got back in line. We waited and waited. Some people were getting impatient, but I figured the later we started, the warmer it would be. I wasn’t looking forward to going back outside.
Finally, at just about 8:00 (the time the race was supposed to start) the person with the race numbers finally arrived (this had been the hold-up). By 8:10 we’d picked up our numbers (no t-shirts for us, as we’d registered too late) and used the restrooms one last time.
We headed out for a warm-up. We jogged a little less than a mile and half, then made our way to the starting line. We were pretty far back when Kurt said “we always line up too far back”. I agreed, so we made our way closer to the front.
I took off at a pretty fast pace, but it was downhill and I was hoping to get a pretty decent time. This is a partner race, so my time would be added to Kurt’s time and I didn’t want to drag him down too much. It was cold and windy, but sunny. I took my hat off just before mile one.
My first mile split was 7:25. I wanted to hit mile two by 15:00. I got there at about 15:04. Mile 3 was strange. I’m still not very good at pacing myself in short races. I managed to keep my pace pretty quick, though. Running as part of a team helped me push harder than I usually do. I guess I’m willing to push a little harder when somebody else is depending on me. I could see the clock in the final stretch and was surprised to see it roll over from 22:59 to 23:00. I was definitely going to set a PR. I crossed the finish line in 23:08, shaving 43 seconds off my PR. Not bad for a hilly course on a windy day.
With a combined time of 45:22, we came in second place in the Husband/Wife division. We won two Ragged Mountain hooded sweatshirts, which we have to pick up at the shop.