Sunday morning I lay in bed listening to the wind howling. I finally drug myself out of bed to prep for the 1 hour drive to Derry NH. My driving mate had a snafu and could not ride up with me. I whined quite a bit about that and then eventually accepted that I would drive alone. I left my house to meet the others around 7:15 and as soon as I got about 5 minutes up the road I realized I had forgotten my all important Garmin. I whined a bit about that too and then got over it and cranked up the tunes.
After meeting up with GNRC folks, fretting about what to wear, taking a group photo, fretting some more, changing in the last 20 minutes, it was finally time to go. I was pleased to see port-a-potties immediately outside the exit door and I quickly took advantage. The floors were slippery so I was VERY CAREFUL in there.
Here is our Greater Norwood Runners before the race:
Not only is Derry very challenging - they also have a half mile walk to the start. I guess it was OK since it DID provide for a short warm up. I think I whined alot this day. It was effing cold - like 10 degrees and a wind chill factor of minus 6. Wahhhhh..
There is no gun shot or horn blow - no anthem. Just some talking and then you hear OK Go.. A few of us started out together and ran a few miles near each other but were then separated. I was pretty much on my own and tried to ask a couple of people for total running time but nobody seemed to understand the question. Perhaps it was my numb mouth that was not speaking clearly or perhaps they didn't want to tell me. So for the entire race I think I only saw one clock. I think. I can't really remember.
I ran at my own pace and felt very strong. I took it easy on the up and down hills for fear I would blow up. There are just so many effing hills in this race one can't be too carefull. The first hill in mile one isn't too bad. Mile 5 has a pretty bad hill but the real killer is mile 11. It's basicaly up and down but the up is really long. That said - there was a tun of downhill in the race. I found myself bracing a bit for fear of slipping. Other times I tried to just go with the downhill but that was hard because it was such a steep downhill. I think I should have actually trained a bit more for the downhills so that could have gone faster on the downhill.
I was told that because this race is so tough it attracts all of the really hard core runners. Aparently one of their characteristics is lots of snock rockets. They had me weaving a bit trying to avoid becoming their target. I can only imagine how that would screw me up if that ever happened. I would definitely curse out anyone who even accidentally did this to me. Uh uh. No way, no how, would I appreciate that. Be careful snot blowers! Please! Thanks.
I tried to thank as many supporters as I could. I'm pretty sure they were colder than we were as they stood on the sidelines.
At the end of the race I had to run uphill to the finish line. Of course. Very mean for the race organizers to do that. Guess it just means we are that more tough.
I was more than thrilled with my time of 2:01:37 - 5th AG.. That's 12 or 13 minutes faster than when I ran this race in 2011. I would do Derry again. It's fun to go up to the colder, hillier, less populated town. Something about it. We ended the day with lunch and a beer at the local tavern.