This Saturday morning marked my first race in Sacramento. It was an odd affair but a popular one in the area. A triathlon called Eppies Great Race. Odd in that instead of a swim portion the race features kayaking. One of my co-workers had a friend in need of a teammate to help with the run portion.
I teamed up with Sherrie Reese and another gentleman named John (sorry, I never caught his last name) for this Sacramento classic. I even received a team singlet, Koinonia. It's a Greek word for communion through intimate participation. I had to look that up.
Given the logistics of driving and parking I decided to jog to the start which sat about five and a half miles from my apartment. The finish was little more than a mile from home. I got up extra early and made it to the start line 30 minutes before the gun.
The weather was perfect. It was about 65 degrees with a nice quartering breeze coming across the mostly flat course. There were easily more than 1,000 participants lined up for the start and despite the mayhem of starting on a narrow bike trail the start was uneventful. I would run about 5.8 miles to the bike corrals and pass my ankle chip to Sherrie who would do the 12.5 mile bike portion before handing off to John and his 6 plus miles of kayaking.
The first mile went pretty well at 7:25 and I gradually moved my way up to the field. By mile three I began to feel the effects of the overly long warm up and by mile four I was hungry and tired. I never felt like I was redlining and over the last half mile I started picking off more people. I was worried about mayhem at the finish corrals but I easily made my way to our rendezvous point and Sherri happily snagged my Velcro ankle charm and hit the road.
I wish I had run faster. I should have been able to average 7:30 per mile but ended up at 7:41. Outside the family time trial two weeks ago I've done nothing that resembles speed work. I need to start doing weekly track sessions, even if its just a hard two miles if I intend to have a prayer of averaging eight minute pace for 26.2 miles. The best part besides making some new acquaintances was getting 12.5 miles of running in. St. George is less than three months away!