This morning I ran the Macklind Mile for the first time. It’s a one mile race that begins near the South City Y and ends at Big River Running. It’s mostly downhill, through neighborhoods.
The women’s competitive heat didn’t begin until 8:35am, but I arrived just before 8am to check out the setup. There were port-a-potties and estimated finish time flags ranging from 6 minutes (yeah right!) to 10 minutes (a time I probably would have been shooting for a couple of years ago).
I don’t ever run just one mile at a time, but based on my 8:12 minute mile 5k a couple of weeks ago, I figured 8 minutes was reasonable, and lined up there.
This is before all the super fast runners lined up in front of me.
We got started a bit late, around 8:40am or so, and because the beginning was downhill, it felt like people were flat-out sprinting. I intended to push myself but the early pace felt crazy and unsustainable, so I tried to slow up a bit. I didn’t let myself slow up too much, though, since I reminded myself this should take 8 minutes (or less, fingers crossed) and I can handle discomfort for that amount of time. I did enjoy what appeared to be a five-year old girl passing me almost immediately. Awesome.
The girl who had been standing next to me was now in front of me. She was wearing a Patagonia tank top, so I’ll call her Patagonia Girl. I tried to use her as my pacer; I needed to find someone to be my pacer since I didn’t know how to pace one mile. After almost no time at all, I saw the first marker–0.25 mile. How great is it that they marked each 0.25 mile? I’m used to seeing 1 mile markers in long runs, so this felt super fast and magical. I glanced at my phone and saw my pace was in the 7s so I was satisfied and tried to even it out rather than pass people. I lost sight of Patagonia Girl around the halfway point but I encountered a woman having a wardrobe malfunction–I’ll call her J Lo. For a couple of minutes I watched her battle with her shorts and by the time she finally got it together I was able to pass her so I didn’t have to risk any further peep shows.
At the 0.75 mile mark I could already see the finish with the giant Big River Running finish inflatable. That was incredibly motivating as I was well into my I want to throw up/walk stage and really needed the visual. I decided to speed up and in the process saw Patagonia Girl. She was Steady Eddie and I was gaining on her and some other people. I focused on passing her as I made my legs push harder. Soon I was next to her, then in front of her! The feeling of passing people at the end of a race is the greatest. For me it’s an even bigger rush than my actual time. I kept pushing and crossed the finish line in 7:27, well under my 8 minute goal. I was amazed that I was close to my freshman year of high school mile–7:15. I could actually beat that as a 32-year-old. Amazing.
Speaking of amazing, after the women’s competitive heat finished, the elite runners ran.Through the wonders of technology, they were announcing to the crowd when they passed each quarter-mile, so we’d know when to expect them running down the hill.
They came down the hill a lot faster than me.
This guy, Neville Miller, won with a time of 4:13. What the what?
This girl, Hannah Long, was the fastest female with a time of 4:48. Also, she’s 16. I can’t even.
After this seriousness, adorableness happened, as they had a 0.25 mile run for kids 12 and under. And most of these kids looked like they had just learned to walk.
This girl was fast, and all business. She led the pack.
These two appeared to be dragged along by their parents.
This kid had two parents plus a third guy coaxing him toward the finish line. It reminded me of times I’ve tried to convince our dog Jeri to walk a little further.
This kid had been running but when the crowd started cheering he stopped and this WTF face happened. He eventually resumed running, but he was very confused.
Tears may or may not have been shed by me, an adult with no vested interest in this race.
All in all, this was a great race that I’ll run again. It’s a nice change from normal distance races, it was really organized, and the energy of the crowd was fantastic.