Second Race of the Weekend
The US Air Force 10K was my second race of the Air Force Marathon weekend. My first race of the weekend was the US Air Force 5K hosted by my Alma Matter, Wright State University, on Friday night. This was also my second time on Wright Patterson AFB for the Air Force Marathon weekend. Last year I ran my first marathon at the 2013 US Air Force Marathon. Finally, it was my second race that I commuted to by bicycle.
Second Commute By Bike
This was my second time commuting by bike to a race. My first race to commute by bike was the Airman 10K in July. That race was done partly by bus. This race was a full bike commute. I drove my bike 14 miles to the race. It was my first time on some of the trails and my longest ride before dawn. The new Cygolite Metro 500 I purchased worked very well. I only had one issue with the commute. I dropped my air pump about 0 5 before the base gates. It was a challenge to hunt for it in the road st 6:00 am.
Time to Get Ready
I survived the commute and began looking for a bike rack to park at. I was surprised to find the Air Force Museum lacked any bike parking. I was really surprised since a portion of the Miami Valley bike trails run right in front. I locked the bike to a post out-of-the-way and began changing.
That was when I realized I had not given much thought to packing the backpack into the clear baggage check bags. The bag was full and tight when I was done. I did make sure the half bag and shirt were on top. I knew that would be critical later as I make the switch for the half marathon. Now it was on to security.
Security was a little more crowded this year than last year. Of course, I was getting there a little later too. It still went rather quickly. They checked the bags and ran everyone through a metal detector. Can’t be too safe after Boston 2013.
I moved on to baggage check and the valley of the port-a-john. Baggage check went fine and I even managed to run into two good friends that were running for Team RWB. Used my phone’s pace calculator to determine where I wanted to be for the line-up since all the times were set for the full that started at the same time. All was looking good and I was feeling only a little nervous.
And We Are Off.
The race weather was wonderful as we started for the 18th AF Marathon and 10K. The Marathon and the 10K both run together for almost the first three miles. That is when the full turns right to head into Fairborn and the 10K turns left to head back to base. All was going very well at this point without any real issues.
My legs were really starting to get tired as we headed into the base gates. I have managed to maintain a steady pace through this race and I am sure that I will finish. However, I realize that I am not making the pace I really wanted to make. I looked so forward to drinking a quick bottle of chocolate milk before race three, the half marathon.
It was almost a cruel joke to come back into base and see the finish line just to turn left and run away from it. The course takes a run around base just after you cross back into base. I can feel my legs giving out as I come around for the home stretch. I see my friend from before the race running in with the flag. I decide to try to keep pace with her. Nope, not going to happen!
Just before I make the final turn, my tired legs catch me and I trip. Tuck and roll, tuck and roll. I scraped my knee and hit my hands into the pavement. I hear one of my fellow runners call back to check on me. No time to waste. I jumped up and kept running. I am getting late to the half.
I crossed the finish line just after the half started. Time to get that chocolate milk and change bibs.
I cross the line and head to the chute for my medal. I get my medal from the Air Force officer and head through the food line for a quick chocolate milk. I am so looking forward to that sweet treat and refreshing drink after that run. I couldn’t believe they were not serving any this year. Well, maybe they bring it out later when the half and full racers come in. I guess I will have to wait until I finish race three for that refreshment.
Time to change.