Well if you've been following my blog for very long, or if you've ever just glanced at the name of my blog, then you know I'm slow. I'm a slow swimmer, biker, and runner. But most of all I'm a slow runner...as in people speed walk past me in races. I even had a lady once who had one leg longer than the other limp past me during a 5K and I was running...not walking! That is a true story. I normally finish somewhere in the bottom 25% of most road races. If I'm lucky, I'm mid pack.
Anyway this past weekend I did the 3 Hour Tatur Snake Run in Tulsa, OK. If you missed it you can read my blog recap here. It's a 3 hour trail run where you run as many miles as you can in 3 hours. Whoever has the most miles at the end of the race wins. There was a 4.2 mile looped course and also a shorter .5 mile course. You did the 4.2 mile loop as many times as you could and then when you knew you didn't have time to do it again, you could try for as many half mile loops as you could make in the remaining time.
During the event the 4.2 mile timing mat worked fine, but the half mile timing mat did not work. So they manually tracked the number of half mile loops that each person completed. The problem with this is that they were only able to record the mileage, and not the finish time.
When I looked at the "final" results today, I was pleased to see that I was actually 21 out of 89 females that completed the race; and I was 6 out of 33 in my age group - and age groups for this race were 10 deep - Ages 30-39 instead of the typical 35-39 group I would be in. That was an AMAZING finish for me! Apparently the combo of trail racing and the timed event is a good way to go for me.
But then I looked closer - 2 of the overall women's winners were actually in my age group. Now, in every single race I've ever done, they take the overall winners out of the age group categories. Maybe this doesn't make sense, but that's what most races do......so that would have put me in 4th place right??? Well.....then I looked again and the person ahead of me who finished 20th and 5th place in our AG only finished the 4.2 mile circuit just over a minute ahead of me. They have our splits for the first 3 loops. She was slightly faster than me during loop 1 and 2, but I was faster than her in loop 3.....which means, she was really slowing down at the end....so I might have/probably did pass her on the half mile loops. Also, on my 2nd loop I stopped for at least 3 to 5 minutes to change socks and put body glide on a developing foot blister...so I would have beat her on that loop too...so I know she was really slowing down at the end. But, because she finished the 4.2 mile loop circuit ahead of me, and they didn't have our final time, she was placed ahead of me because that's the only time they have to go on. We finished with the same number of miles, but because she finished 12.6 miles than me she was placed above me in the rankings. But if I beat her, I would have been in 3rd place in our AG...and I'd get an AG award! But I really had no way to know for sure.
Ok, so maybe most people would not care. I know, I know, we aren't in this for the accolades and awards. That's really easy to say when you win them all the time.....but I have NEVER, EVER even come close to an Age Group Award. And if I was deserving of one, well I wanted it! I don't know how many times I have said the only way I would ever win an Age Group Award was if there were only three people in my Age Group, and there weren't in this race there were 33....and that included tons of people who wouldn't normally even be in my age group and were much younger than me.
So, I e-mailed the race director and told him my story. He thought my logic seemed sound and said he would move me up a spot........BUT in Oklahoma they do not take the overall winners out of the Age Group Awards!! So, it wouldn't matter whether I beat her or not, it would mean the difference between 5th or 6th place, not 3rd. So that's it, that's how I "almost" got an AG award. So close, so dang close!
I told Jim my story and his response was "do you want mine, I've got lots of them". Nice sweetie, real nice.
Anyway, I am still happy. I was 21st or possibly 20th out of 89 other women and definitely 4th out of 21 women in my real age group (35-39). So I'm still pretty darn happy with that. I didn't run any faster than normal, but I preserved in this timed event. Many people actually ran the 4.2 mile loops faster than me, but chose not to run out their remaining time on the half mile loops, so I beat them in mileage and persistence! I didn't stop til the time ran out! So I'm still proud of myself. I'll take it.
But still.....this should have been mine :) Once bitten, twice shy!