Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ok, Maybe Just One More: A Ray’s Race Race Report

Today was the 30th running of Ray’s Race, which is put on by “The Running Psychologists” of Division 47, sports psychology. This is a race that I have always wanted to do for obvious reasons but something on my convention schedule has created a conflict every year to date. Well, not this year baby and you could have predicted that if you combine me with free time with some race entry money burning a hole in my pocket then I am going to be there.

It is weird to think that this was my first ever stand alone 5K. Previously the shortest distance I have ever run as a stand alone is a 10K. I know that I am absolutely not trained for distances as short as 5K but I really wanted to see what I could do so I got a good night sleep and had a nice light breakfast in plenty of time for everything to settle. Much to my surprise also running in today’s race was someone who I consider to be my best friend from Graduate School, Stephan Schulenberg…now a professor at Old Miss. Ok, sorry I don’t know if that is Mississippi State or The U of Mississippi or either for that matter I just know it’s Old Miss. Anyhow it was great to see him again and to see that he still has the same dry sense of humor.

So as far as the race goes what can I say? It was 5K and there really wasn’t a lot of time for much to happen. I ran until I felt like my heart was going to explode and then backed off just a little so that I could make it the whole 3.1 miles. I started out running with the lead group of runners and then backed off a bit and fell in behind a guy who appeared to be about my age. I ran behind him for most of the race since he was running strong and at about my pace. I thought I would try and ride him most of the way in and then try and pick him off at the end.

I ran behind my pacer until around mile 2 when I noticed he was falling off the pace and I felt like I had more left. There were two guys ahead of us that were possibly within my striking distance so I decided to make my move and see if I could catch them but about that time we turned a corner and had to climb up and over a bridge. At the kind of pace we were running I didn’t want to try and pass going up and over a bridge especially considering how much weight I was giving up to the guy I was getting ready to pass.

As soon as we hit the apex of the bridge I made my move on the downturn and started trying to close the gap. I was running at top speed and gaining ground but there was still .7 miles left and the oxygen didn’t seem to be as plentiful as it was at the beginning of the race. I was closing the gap and probably came within 10 yards of the two runners but then with about .3 miles left they started their kick to the finish and I lost a couple steps on them and could not gain any more ground.

I crossed the finish line in a time of 21:11, a 6:50 per minute mile pace…not bad for someone who has done nothing but train for ultra endurance racing for the past year. I ended up winning 3rd in my age group and was 14th overall out of a field of 138 running psychologists. The winner ran it in just over 15 minutes!

So here is the coolest thing, I beat Bill Rodgers…THE Bill Rodgers who is the only person to with both the Boston and New York Marathons 4 times each. Ok, so he is over 60 now and, well, probably wasn’t running quite as hard as he is capable of running…he has a Boston PR of like 2:09:27, but still!

Oh, and yes, I got him to autograph my bib number! I’ll post a pic when I get home.

Ok…NOW there is no more races between me and Lean Horse.


  1. Ha!'ll find something else to race...

  2. How fun!! Sounds like you did a great job.

  3. In an effort to defend my parents investment in my college education, it Ole Miss, which is the University of Mississippi. The only thing Miss State provides therapy for is cows.

  4. Congratulations on your race and besting Bill Rogers. I got the chance to run with him many years ago (1982) and we had a great conversation as he shuffled along while I did my best to keep up with him. I found him pleasant and very engaging.

  5. Sure sounds like a fun event!

  6. Congratulations!!! Now I have a rabbit to chase :)

  7. You've never done a stand alone 5k? For real? Man, you just jumped right up to the big stuff :-)

  8. LOL you beat Bill Rogers!

  9. Great run time.
    So, now that you've beat Bill much faster do you have to get to run a 2:09 marathon?

  10. Brian, what a smokin race! Sounds like you had a great time. (and outran a legens to boot)

    You know, should probably stop racing now that you are at the top of your game! ;-)

    Seriously, great race.

  11. I hope your fast twitch muscles appreciate the love! I'm thinking they were feeling neglected.

    How cool to beat Bill Rodgers.

  12. Have a great time this weekend and run smart. Are you sure this is 100 mile and not 10 and maybe you put an extra zero on there by accident?

    I hope all goes well and you enjoy yourself (I really can't even type that without laughing- my brain will not allow enjoy and 100 mile in the same sentence)

    You are the MAN.

  13. Awesome time! Man that's smoking fast.

    Only 2 days left! I can't wait to hear about it.

    Um...I just noticed that your running the NM mary 8 days afterwards?!!!

  14. Go get 'em this weekend, Brian!! You are gonna do great with the 100-miler :)

  15. Best of luck at Lean Horse!

  16. Go Baboo Go!! Kick a$$ and take names at Lean Horse!

    *Huge roar of cheers and applause*

    (Ok, it is just me sitting on my couch at 5am, but I AM pretty darn loud!)

  17. GOOD LUCK SB!!! Have a great run :)