The 2012 running season opened today with a strange one: the "2nd Annual Pursuit of the Holy Grail," a 5K that winds through the streets of Epping, N.H., ending in the parking lot of the Holy Grail, a local restaurant and pub. We've just come off a week of record-breaking heat (temps in the 80s!) so this morning's mroe seasonal weather seemed cool, which meant a good day for running.
The unusual part of this race (besides some runners costumed as if they were part of King Arthur's quest) was that it was point-to-point, a rarity in New Hampshire. I didn't know this, so drove to the starting line way out in rural Epping only to be told that registration was back in town at the Holy Grail, after which you take a school bus shuttle to the starting line.
Sheesh! So, with 15 minutes to go, I jogged back to the car and then sped to the Holy Grail, where I registered ($28, a steep entry fee) and caught the very last school bus to the start.
Although I was hoping for a strong time after being able to keep running all winter, a few things worked against that. For starters, I didn't have time to stretch out very much, and in doing what I could prior to the start, I stepped off the road and into a cold wet patch of ground that soaked one foot. Once we got running, this put something of a crimp in my style, and then my right Achilles tendon felt a little sore, so throughout the race I felt like I wasn't able to loosen up.
And then the lace on my left shoe came undone no less than three times! Bad karma.
End result was that I finished at 30:17, or a 9:45 pace, slower than I'd hoped after a whole winter of continuous running. Not sure where I was in the pack but I'll add that when results come in. For now, the 2012 season has begun!
P.S. Posted results have me placing 298 out of 463, a huge field!