Saturday morning started early for me as usual with a 6:00 am wake up call. Enough time for me to eat some fruit, drink some water, drink some coffee and hop on my bike to make my way down to 31st park. There was no long park run on the schedule, instead I would be participating in the Allen Stone Memorial 5k along the Virginia Beach boardwalk. I came across this race a couple of years ago and have marked it on the calendar ever since. Last year I ran this with a group of girlfriends (2012 Allen Stone), but this year I was flying solo.
This race draws out some fierce and fit competitors among the Navy Seal and Virginia Beach running community. In 1999 Allen Stone, a Navy Seal, competed in this race that at the time was called the Braveheart and won the 20-29 year male age group. A short time later that year, Stone died suddenly in a Navy Seal Training accident. The race was appropriately rename as the Allen Stone Memorial Run/Swim/Run and 5k.
The day was sunny, warm, and a bit windy. The ocean was calm from a glance, but after a report from VBLS Deputy Chief Tom Gill, he warned of the shockingly cold temperatures the swimmers would face. Respect, remembrance, and a sense of excitement are all elements of the day. Mayor Sessoms started out the festivities by reading a proclamation that made July 20 Allen Stone Day in Virginia Beach. Team Hoyt was in attendance and would be both pushing and pulling in the Run/Swim/Run as and 5k.
I settled into my spot on the boardwalk for the 5k run. The horn went off and we took off in pursuit of the turn around for this fast out and back. By mile 1 it was clear as to how hot it was. I didn’t time myself that day, but I could feel myself pulling somewhere between 8-9 minute pace. As I approached the turn around the top finishers became passing me. First in the pack as expected was Ryan Carroll who took first overall with a time of 16:08. A few moments later, my friend Joe Telford cruised by finishing in the top ten overall and and taking first place male finisher in the 30-34 age group. I finished with a time of 27:44, almost 2 minutes slower than last year. This put me 79th overall out of 231 5k finishers and 4th in my age group of 30-34. DAMN!!! I wish I knew where the third place girl was, I would have definitely tried to catch her 🙂 Lesson learned to always push yourself just a little harder and also not drink so much wine the night before 🙂
After the run, runners began to gather on the 31st street park. I met up with Joe and another friend Bobby McMichael, who also placed second in his division! Joe ran into his friend Shawn Buddenhagen, who placed first in the Run/Swim/Run for team Hoyt. If the run wasn’t enough, there was a pull up competition on site. After Joe tackled the 5k he hit the bar and busted out 23 pull ups! I quickly came to realize that if I could not be a “winner” on the day, I would just surround myself with them in the hopes that I would absorb some of their speedy mojo through osmosis.
Great job to all competitors! The race was a fun one for me and an extremely successful one for others.
Get luck the next time you get your race on, and remember to push just a little bit more because you never know how close you are to an awesome finish!