Well, almost the first race of the year. Josh did a 25K trail run back in March, but I was swamped with the whole living in the Ronald McDonald House and being at therapy all day routine at the time, so I didn't write about it. Just to be clear, when he signed up for the race, Secora hadn't yet been hospitalized and had her admission date moved up. Neither of us figured there was much sense in skipping it once the money was already paid. The main ideas I got from his race story were that there were tons of switch backs so he totally lost his sense of direction (this is saying something, he's got an amazing sense of direction) and that it was definitely slower than running on the road and he helped several runners who had fallen get back up again. I was glad I wasn't running because it was COLD. Temps were just above freezing when the race started. Long story short, he showed up, he selfie-d, he conquered. Then he got right in a car and drove over 3 hours to visit Secora and me, and there was much hobbling around on sore and stiff legs for the rest of the weekend.
But the first race of the year that I have my own memories of is the 5K Sierra and I ran last weekend. Sierra signed up weeks ago to run with friends of ours, but I had opted out because I wasn't sure if I'd be home or not. Through a series of events, it was determined around 9pm the night before the race that I would run with her. Not exactly ideal, but I have started tri training, so it wasn't really a stretch aside from the 5:45 wake up time. The morning "dawned" with thunder storms, but it looked like they were going to pass soon, so we loaded up and headed to the race venue. After a brief delay where we all hung out in a large cafeteria/gym and watched the giant projections of the current radar video, the area was finally declared lightning free and we were allowed outside.
They quickly got the timing mats set up and before long we were on our way! Sierra and I stayed together for the first half mile, and then she ditched me. Before long we came up behind the walkers, which was really confusing since we were running. Turns out there was some confusion about the route and some people were sent one way while others were sent a different way. Sierra and I had run about 1/2-3/4 mile extra at the beginning! I was a bit annoyed at that, but it was fixed at the end. The people who had run extra at the beginning were shuttled straight to the finish at a late turn in the course while the others were directed to run the loop originally planned for the end.
According to my Garmin, we ended up running 2.9 miles instead of 3.1, but the pace was still my best in the last few years. I finished in 34:50 and Sierra's time was 32:20. Sierra was a little disappointed that she was in a 10-19 year old age group, which pretty effectively knocked her out of the running for any prizes. It turned out only 2 girls her age or younger beat her though and she did really well pacing herself, so she's made big improvements over last year. All in all, a fun time with friends and a successful day!