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The Race - Part 2 of 11

The opening climb offered foreshadowing of what was to come, with plenty of rolling hills over the first half of the course along intermixed pavement and gravel and adorned by the damp leaves of autumn, with the seasonal scents made possible by sunlight shining through.


A quick glance up the road revealed the first woman with a substantial lead from the earliest moments while the second and third were only a few steps away.


Observation also revealed that my attire was much more robust than many of the participants, and as the gorgeous solar illumination continued and intensified, there was a lot of internal dialogue about choices!


Surprisingly, on a descent, I found my way past the pair of women and held on for about a mile, at which point one of them made a return to her second-place position.


While review of the watch revealed more time had elapsed for that opening mile than seemed appropriate for the perceived effort, I allowed for the notable opening climb, and quickly eschewed the “that was slow!” thoughts that threatened invasion.


There were some back and forth moments with another woman, and soon I found myself in fourth – a fascinating place, just off the podium in many races.


Assumptions suggested I was also no longer the first master’s female, and the familiar dialogue of placement rationale entered in, always an interesting experience, particularly when there was no anticipation of place at outset.


I was running faster than I had in quite some time.


My body was voicing no major complaints.


The 2nd and 3rd place women were within sight, but clearly holding their pace with no signs of slowing.


As one other woman went past, my focus shifted to previous races where I did not have the same racing resolve as I did during my track and triathlon careers.


I was pleased to feel a lightness and a kindness flow through, celebrating the effort being offered and releasing what would usually be a litany of criticisms, lamentation, and concern for potential passes I might face approaching the finish line.


I shed hat and gloves, but resigned myself to wearing the jacket I most certainly did not need, and as we arrived to the perimeter path for the final two miles, the emergence of the half marathoners, their beginning equidistant from my finish, I was more than confident (and exceedingly grateful) for the distance selection made.


The sun was out in full force, and it was glorious.


With each mile marker, the countdown continued, and I was truly elated to cross the finish line at 11:12am (so close to the 11:11 mark!) in 42 minutes (my age!) and 11 seconds (favorite number!) as the 16th overall, 5thfemale, 2nd female master, and 1st 40-44 female runner for the 27th annual Great Turtle Trail 5.7 Mile Run.


My support crew had arrived just as I approached the chute – perfect timing on many levels, and a fabulous start to what would prove to be an epic day on the island!


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