I bet you thought you wouldn't get a race report for weeks judging from my inconsistent blogging habits lately. Surprise!
On Saturday, I ran in Bell Buckle's RC Cola and Moon Pie 10-Miler for the 5th year in a row. It's seriously the race I've done the most, and the crazy thing is I can't even remember where I first heard about it back in 2006.
Known for being hot, hilly and humid, I plan every year to have some fun being miserable during this race. (Bit of an oxymoron, I know.)
I was up bright and early to head to Bell Buckle with this year's crew. (Yes, I've managed to convince other people they need to run this race.)
We got parked, and when I realized a train was coming I quickly crossed the tracks so that I could get to the registration tables. If you look closely in the photo below, you'll see I was having a harder time crossing the muddy ditch to get over there. Oh, and trains are loud, FYI.
(I also realize this paints a picture of what Tennessee is like. The car was right on the other side of the tracks, and I'm about 50 feet from the gazebo where registration was going down on this side of the tracks. Hello small town.)
I checked in, got my free shirt and took my traditional photo with the festival sign. I also found some other friends, but I'm not sure if they want their photo posted for the world to see.
I was already sweating before we even started running. I think the heat index was already in the 80s. There was a bit of cloud coverage for part of the race, but it was definitely still warm. I had been nervous that it would be even hotter than last year, but it turns out that it was relatively pleasant compared to the heat index in the upper 90s that I experienced in last year's race.
I ran with some people I knew for most of the race, and I chit chatted with friends and strangers alike. Everyone is generally pretty friendly at this race - you kind of have to joke and laugh to stay sane while you're out there running. It's summer in Tennessee... we're nuts for running outside at all, much less running a distance race!
I managed to keep a pretty consistent pace and kept hitting 10 minute miles. I picked it up a bit toward the end and finished in 1:38:54, thus a 9:54 average.
I wasn't trying to PR. I really didn't care about my time at all. Nonetheless, I was pleased that I was able to maintain my usual happy pace even with all the heat and hills.
We checked out the festival for a bit, and I tried my first ever fried moon pie. YUM! (Yes, fried. This is the south. What do you expect?)