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Tenth Attempt / Ninth Start

Best time: 1:03:25 (2009)
Last year: 1:36:20
2013 time: 1:07:04

The second "running major" of the year didn't feel like the second, following the Myrtle Beach disaster that had me on the paraphets of Castel Sant'Angelo (which the Palmetto Opera company board member and I had a little laugh when she caught my Tosca reference -- it resulted in a complimentary ticket for the opera!) that has me looking to find a marathon for my major.

The marathon in my majors is undecided as of this time. September in Darlington (a new marathon, the race starts at the Weatherly Museum and ends at Darlington Raceway's start-finish line, an event they're trying to see if it can replace NASCAR's fourth major, which moved to Fort Worth, TX, in 2005 following a lawsuit) and December at Kiawah (a long-established marathon, the oldest active marathon in the state -- new course in 2012) are both being considered for the fourth major. The third and fourth majors are to stay the same -- the Peachtree (in the lottery, made it) and Governor's Cup (expect to enter when registration opens) should stay as usual.

UPDATE: No disqualification at the Tanner 12km; that race has been registered cleanly.

Packet pickup went well, I decided to attend Thursday instead of Friday to avoid the notorious long lines at this race in the past. One change is the packet pickup is 20km from the race course, and is near the Charleston International Airport. Bridge Run director Julian Smith III admitted the move to the North Charleston Convention Center was planned as early as 2010, but was vetoed by Charleston mayor Joe Riley, who wants the event downtown (as it was held at the Gailliard Auditorium downtown, just past the finish line). With the demolition of Gailliard late last year in favour of a new smaller concert hall under construction, the Charleston Symphony and Spoleto lost a key venue. Bridge Run officials chose then to sign a four-year deal to move packet pickup to the Coliseum complex, instead of trying Toronto Dominion Arena (a 6,000 seat basketball arena) next to the finish line.

The packet pickup went well, and a friend from Myrtle Beach who usually sees me at the finish asked why I wasn't there this year, and I explained the troubling DQ this year (and of course since this was Charleston, it's easy to understand Menotti is acceptable, he was the father of Spoleto). Went fairly quick and was able to register for a type of stretching class that I've embraced thanks to a friend who was my dance partner a few years ago. Took that class and felt fine, along with grocery shopping to make a go-to salad.

So Friday went off resting at work, and Saturday went off seemingly well. Breakfast at 5:30 AM and arrived at the boat a little too late for the early boats (second boat at 6:30 AM). Arrived at 6:50 AM and walked to the start line at 7:25 AM after the opening ceremony and the first race began. Still chilly, knickers and short-sleeve shirt were chosen. Everything else in the bag, did not have my banana with me to eat.

Not lined up yet, I await the start of the race at 8 AM.

8 AM - GUN!

First mile was seemingly well but we catch slower runners who should not have been lined up with our group about 15 minutes into the race.

First mile: 17:11.69

The odd thing is that's what you'd expect in 20, 21, or 22 miles during a marathon, not Mile One of a 10km race.

The second mile tested my patience. After the Lexington Race Against Hunger incident I have to watch it. Water and two slow-downs as we reach the top of the Ravenel starts.

Second mile: 9:42.97

The halfway point nears and we're still climbing. Taking the rightmost lane of the northbound side of the bridge (which we're running in the opposite direction, meaning I'm running on the left side as a runner), I avoid the grates that collect water frequently. But it's still a climb and I can feel being tired quickly. Still taking walk breaks occasionally.

Third mile: 10:37.54

The bridge starts its descent as we cross Drum Island and into the Crosstown Expressway, we are on the entrance ramp from Meeting Street to the Ravenel. I feel a second wind as the run continues. At that time I don't feel tired. The time was the fastest official Bridge Run mile I've had (because of an issue with stopping the watch at the 2011 race I averaged 9:30 but don't have an official time for that race in Mile 2 and 3). It was my first time I've reached a mile at the Bridge Run in the eights for this race as we are still downhill.

Fourth mile: 8:52.86

Exiting the bridge the sharp left requires some runners to hit the grass and sidewalk before returning to Meeting and the second full water stop. Now on Meeting Street before the link road next to Woolfe Street before the 8,000m post.

Fifth mile: 9:10.19

Whew! Great time, I can sense it now. While it's 55 minutes already, a 10k PR is out of the picture thanks to the long first mile. Running down the canyons of King Street in the final mile I'm focused. The left on Wentworth Street. Still feeling well.

Sixth mile: 9:37.82

Ah! The third-fastest Cooper is now possible. I won't break the 11-minute per mile barrier this year. But still at a nice pace. Back down Wentworth into Meeting and we finish just past Toronto Dominion Arena.

Final .2: 1:56.71

The time per watch: 1:07:06
Official time: 1:07:04

No record (1:03:25 is the fastest) but a decent 10km that wasn't even the fastest this year (59:21 in a trail 10km this year was my first sub-60 10km race ever).

Next week is the third race in the "four in four" that includes the first two 5km races of the year (neither I've run before). The Palmetto Half will be the last endurance race for age 37, and my last endurance race until Darlington.
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