Saturday, October 15, 2011
Race Review: 2011 Buffalo Alley 10k
When I say I was on the fence going into this morning's cross country 10k, I mean it literally. One minute I was on one side planning to run the 5k and the next I had hopped over to join the 10k runners with less than 2 minutes to go.
I've got a fairly serious injury - bursitus of the hip - and that led to the decision to downgrade. But then I thought, What if this were my last race ... ever? Wouldn't I want to soak in every dusty footfall, every parched petal on the course? Wouldn't I want to at least say I didn't sell myself short?
So there I was with 1200+ others hitting "the hill" just as the sun broke through the marine layer. As a result, I saw this challenging course in a whole new light.
This one requires a high degree of concentration and stamina, but I decided to document the run in pictures and held onto my trusty Nikon so I could capture a little of what makes this final race in the Marine Corps' Hard Corps series so special. Because it is, to me.
I described the actual course last year. This time, though, we were rewarded with sweeping views of the last unspoiled coastal territory in San Diego and Orange counties. Runners aren't just fit but friendly. The comraderie reminded me of races of old, before everyone hunkered down with their iPods and Garmin gear.
I'm working on a video that will prominently feature my running confidant, Deborah - the only one from last year's large group that made it to this year's start ... and finish. Deborah was in major fist-pump mode on this one. If I wasn't carrying around my camera, I would be too -- and I finished five minutes slower than last year.