My alarm sounded at 4:48AM on the morning of august 14th. That was the fastest 5 hours of my life.
I had been working steadily over the past week preparing for my brother Todd's memorial 10k ( CTR 10k), but as the date drew closer, I found myself pretty much immersed in an obsession over every single last detail. I wanted everything to be as close to perfect as I could get. In my meager three years as a RD, I knew it would never be perfect and that things would arise and I would have to be flexible and just roll with it at times. However, it was extremely important to me that my brother's race was very well organized and that it reflected how much thought and time was put into this race.
It was evident me shouldering about 95% of this burden alone was taking it's toll when at 11pm the night before the race, my sister in law and I were mixing up the 20 gallons of gatorade in the coolers and I found myself about having a panic attack -- ( not REALLY a panic attack-- but I was borderline freaking out worrying about it being so hot during the race and us running out of gatorade and I was breathing really hard just thinking about it ) I quickly caught myself and decided it was time to let it all go and get to sleep!!
SO back to race morning: Tammy and I got in our vehicles we'd loaded the night before and drove on out to the Creeper Trail in Abingdon, Va. Where we met up with my good friend and fellow IMTR Donna Bays. Donna had agreed to run the runscore timing system for me, and she is also the equipment manager for State of Franklin Track Club; so she brought me ALL the goodies: mile markers, clock, timers etc. I really can't say enough what a wonderful job, Donna did through out the day. She was the backbone of my race. I truly appreciate all her efforts and couldn't of made it without her.
my volunteers began to show ( which included two of my brother's scholarship recipients and their families!! yay!) and a slew of my road running friends, trail running/ultra running friends, relatives and friends and co-workers of my brother Todd. I really am SO overwhelmed by my support network. I seriously feel so indebted to my volunteers, my race wouldn't be the stellar event it is without them!! so we had a brief meeting, and I broke everyone down into groups and we got started setting up the registration area, putting up the banner for the start line. Set up the posters of my brother and the scholarship recipients and their bios. I felt that it was important that the runners be given a visual for the reason for the race and the cause that the race supports. I hadn't had the foresight to do this in years past, but I am so glad I thought to do so this year.
Before I knew it, everything was completed and we were able to hang out for a minute before the runners began to arrive for packet pick up and registration.
I got to meet my blogger/fb friend from over the mtn in Boone, NC: Sean Dunlap. I was SO happy that he, his wife and SWEET doggy made the trip to my race. Sean is a speedster, so I knew he'd run well.
(sean, me, and beth)
It then just became a steady stream of familiar and friendly faces the next hour. I was able to snap a couple shots of my buddies pre- race:
( will jorgenson and annette bednosky) I have to admit that will's outfit reminded me of another good friend far, far away who loves to dress up at races.
My friend Doug Blackford, who is running Ultra Mont Blanc in 2 weeks and his daughter Lucy; and Rick Gray my paternal trail running mentor:O)
I loved this picture ( although it's blurry) I caught of beth before her pre-race warm up.
about 4 or 5 minutes before start time, everyone lined up. I went over the course, and briefly explained about why we have the race and the scholarship and the runners were OFF!! :o)
as soon as the runners left, we took down the banner and had to move it to the finish line. It's a long story, but my course's start and finish lines are 2 tenths of a mile from each other. This way, my mile markers line up. 1 & 5 and then 2& 4 are in the exact same places and I LOVE that about my course:o) I think it makes it cool. ( maybe this just reflect how geeky I am)
It was about this time my buddy Eric Grossman came to scare er I mean HELP with the finish line.
We really had fun just goofing off for the 30 minutes or so waiting for the runners to come in. Pretty much we just all geeked out on ultra running talk.
Rick gray took a picture of me in front of the finish line. You can see Sean Dunlap's beautiful wife and super sweet doggy
and about 35:20 here come first and second place! it was George Tolton of abingdon and a Kenyan runner who has been living and training in damascus, David Cheromei. David was pacing George and boasts a 10k PR of 28 min. I caught a blurry but cool picture of them finishing.
New Course record! congrats to George! but I'm going to have to get Grossman to run next year so he can get the record back:oP
Then all of a sudden David took off down the creeper ( I assumed to do his cool down) then I looked and he was running in with 3rd place finisher Sean Dunlap! cheering for him and encouraging him to sprint hard! "How cool!" I thought to myself. Then I looked and Annette was coming in as 5th overall finisher and 1st female and there was David again!!
one by one as the runners came in David and George ran up and down the trail and ran the last 100 m or so with them. All of us at the finish line just stood there and watched in amazement this beautiful, selfless act that was occurring in front of us. David and George paced nearly all the 78 or so other runners who were finishing. I couldn't imagine running a 10k THAT hard and then doing strides and sprints for that long afterward! it was AWESOME to watch.
( beth minnick finishing hard and look at those pretty legs:o)
here are some pictures of the overall male and female winners:
The results for the CTR 10k are posted on state of franklin track club's website: www.runtricities.org
and also I have posted a TON of pictures that my super sweet mother in law was SO nice take for me up on my FB. here is the link for those:
These are a couple special volunteers: my family. My cousins who drove from DC to work registration, my brother brian and my dad. brock and my oldest son jack handed out gatorade and water at aid station #2 and my mother in law, jan who took pictures at the start and finish.. ( so did JJ jessee at the half way point as soon as I get them, I will post those as well)
Those should be up on state of franklin by tomorrow as well.
I just can't believe that the 3rd year of the CTR 10k has come and gone!! WOW! it truly was an amazing event ( although small I know, but I think my brother's race truly has this awesome vibe that brings out the best in everyone) I truly am grateful to ALL the runners and volunteers, friends and relatives that came and supported the race. I love yall so much. If you only knew how much it meant to me. Thanks so all my friends who couldn't make it to the race for ALL The txts, emails and calls of encouragement and well wishes!! I really needed those and truly appreciate them!!
now it's time to shift gears back to focusing on my training. I'm kinda in a taper before cheat mtn moonshine madness 50 mi. My first 50 mi race. and it's a night race!! YAY!! I usually am very antsy and going bonkers during a taper.. or having taper tandrums as my coach calls it. but luckily I still get to have long runs this weekend ( although shortened considerably) because on sunday august 22nd I turn 32! I'm going to asheville with brock for the weekend. We are going to visit the biltmore and check out downtown. Then saturday, we are going to mt mitchell for me to run/ brock to hike and play with his ipad in the car while I make it to the top of mt mitchell haha.. THEN sunday I hope to be back home so I can run one of my favorite and most challenging trail runs "ORANGE DOT TRAIL" 17 MILER with beth for my birthday run:o)
This run as it all: AT single track, BIG climbs, steep descents, swimming holes, BIG ROCKY CLIMBS, bear poo, and then 5k of the BEST downhill single track trail on the IMT. :o)