The Tortoise and Hare race series is put on by the Fort Collins Running Club. It is a once a month race series (Oct-Apr) with a staggered start system where all the runners will finish at the same time, if they run their predicted time. Each race points are handed out to those who cross the finish line the fastest, essentially to those who beat their predicted time by the largest margin. The top 5 five in the series standings receive gift certificates to a local running store. To be in the running for the money racers need to continue to run faster than predicted each race, to continue to improve speed-wise each month as the predictions are re-calculated with every result. Racers also need to be stubborn enough to show up each month, or at least for 5 of the 7 races.
Though I didn't plan it this way, my slump in fitness and speed happened at the perfect time as I was running as slow as I remember in 3-4 years when I entered my first race of the series last November. On top of running my slowest 5K in recent memory that day I suffered the embarrassment of coming in DFL and of having taken a wrong turn on the course, adding 0.1 mile or so to my race. Since that day I've been working hard to get my fitness back though and with every successive race of the season I have beat my predicted time, and for the past 4 races I have finished "in the points". This was enough to earn me 2nd place overall in the standings and $75 to spend at the Runners Roost. Woo Hoo, new shoes!
I've never won anything racing before, so I'm pretty excited. It feels a tiny bit strange to win something this year while never scoring more than the minimum 5 points per race last year as I'm running essentially at the same level now as I was a year ago, with my last 3 race times close to identical, comparing 2011 with 2012. Still it was fun, and actually took some racing in the end to secure second place. I passed one of the girls who tied for 3rd place overall with about 1/2 mile to go in the race and had to edge out another runner at the finish line to secure my place in the standings.
My race wasn't the PB I set out for that morning but the 2nd place finish will make up for it for now. I finished the race in 24:45, running 7:45, 7:54, and 7:58 splits the first 3 miles after aiming for 7:45 on all of them and around 24:00 for the race. I guess that's what the next race is for. Maybe Tonks can pull me in to a PB at the Fast and the Furriest.
Where I Am Now!
1 week ago