Running for EPCSAR

Ahh, the annual Rescue Run, held in sleet, snow or 30 below. I decided New Years Eve to jump in the 10k race - it seemed perfect Rescue Run weather - freezing cold and snowing. Well, while the temperatures were not quite 30 below on New Year's Day, it was definitely one of the chillier Rescue Runs I've done. But it's always a fun time and supports an organization that does a lot of good and one I hope I never need - the El Paso County Search and Rescue. The Rescue Run is one of the main fundraisers for EPCSAR and serves as a good kick start to the 2013 season.

The cold kept many runners huddled in their cars until moments before the race. As the time ticked closer, herds of people appeared, streaming towards the start. The race actually started a few minutes late because of the numbers. I was up with two Colorado Running Co runner - Amanda and Connilee - and when the fun went off, we started out together. Amanda was doing the 5k, so I wasn't worried about her when she pulled away at the base of the first hill. Connilee was a different matter - I knew she was in the 10k. (And in 2011, on the ice, she won and I placed second.) So when she pulled away, I tried to keep pace. But I knew on that first hill, it would be a tall order.

I settled into the hardest pace my legs would manage - a steady clip on the flats but slow on the hills. I was keeping Connillee close for the first two miles but on the long, gradual climb from yucca flats to the road, the elastic broke. I couldn't maintain the pace to even keep her in sight. And when we merged with the 5k course, it would be impossible to try. Most of the record number of participants must have been in the 5k! There were lots if people walking and enjoying the chilly but otherwise perfect morning. Unfortunately, many of them were also walking three to five abreast and not really paying attention! Hard to get annoyed when someone's out getting some fresh air and exercising though. So I kept my eyes open and threaded my way thru the herd with a smile. At the turn around, Connilee had a good gap on me, but I wasn't a secure in second. I needed to pick up the pace a little. Good thing it was mostly down hill to the finish! I held my position thru to the line, finishing in 44:04. A good time for me, but nothing stellar for that course.

Afterwards came the real test - who had enough clothes to wait for the awards! Luckily, Connilee, Amanda and I did a fun, meandering cool down and didn't have to wait that long at all for the awards. I did have my fleece pants, down coat and boots for the short wait. Congrats to everyone who raced and participated in the brisk and sunny day. And thanks to EPCSAR for all they do in the community!

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