Memorial Day weekend for me usually means great rides in the Newfound Lake area of New Hampshire. This area is perfect for cycling and running. I always get some great workouts in and then play golf all afternoon each day. As I headed north on Saturday morning unfortunately it rained most of the way. I did not want to ride in the rain so I had to move to an unexpected plan B....The Bobcat Memorial 5k!
I had looked briefly for races in the area the week before and this was the only race I could find. The race did not have a website and very limited information so I had no idea what to expect. The race started at Plymouth High School in Plymouth, NH.
I signed up and headed to the start. The race had a small field (50-60 people) and soon after the race began I was running in a small group of 3 runners at the front. The course was rolling and primarily downhill for the first mile and I ran a decent and controlled pace for mile 1. (613) Soon after mile one I noticed that our small group was all alone and there was no one else in sight.
Around the 1.5 mile mark I ran into an issue that I have never experienced in a road race. The two guys I was running with slowed considerably and I went to the front. The issue was I could not run ahead because I had no idea where I was and the race was not marked. This forced me to stay with the other two guys even though our paced slowed to well over 7 minutes per mile.
Finally I figured out where I was and noticed a few signs for the race and decided to go ahead. I quickly dropped the other two guys and was leading the race! Soon after I was faced with a short but tough climb. I made it up and over and started hearing footsteps. To make a long story short I was passed around the 2.5 mile mark and ended up placing 2nd by 30 seconds.
After I crossed the finish line the race director came up to me and asked if I had won the race. I told her I came in second and she informed me that the other runner was in high school so I was the official adult winner. She congratulated me and told me the award was a t-shirt.
Did I win? In my opinion it is clear I came in second and I will take it. It was nice to actually lead a race for a length of time and be competitive right to the end. Regardless of whether the other runner was a student I was still the second runner to cross the line. With a small race like this with no awards or fanfare I guess it really doesn't matter. It was a fun and different experience to start my weekend.
I filmed the race so next year runners can View The Race Before They Do The Race!