2011 Braselton 8K report and a story

Categories: Race Report   Running

On December 10th, I ran the Braselton 8K and 2K Run for Reading, put on by my friends over at Runners Fit, and I had a blast doing the 8K.

It was great to see everyone. Helen, Mark S, Mark B, Duane and Keith were all helping out. Just about the whole Kyranakis clan was out, and it’s always good to see them. Zack and his team were running around doing the timing. I gotta say, I love that there’s now chip timing for small racing…way to go.

The boring details that I’m the only one that cares about: It was around 40 degrees and sunny. My chip time was 44:34, an 8:58 average, which is about 5 minutes ahead of where I realistically thought I’d do. My heart rate was in the 160’s for just about the entire race, so a little higher than I’d like.

The race itself was good. Even though the hills on this one suck the wind out of you, I like the course. For the most part, I felt pretty good during the whole race, even though I was pushing hard.

My plan was to do 8 minute run, 2 minute walk, to see how it worked out for me. I figured this would be a good strategy going forward if I can start pushing 8 minute miles. It will give me a good base for the Publix Marathon in March. However, I failed miserably to stick to it. Each time I finished a mile, and was ready to walk, there was a perfect gentle downhill just calling out to me to keep running, so I did. That’s probably why I finished faster than planned.

The second part of my run was supposed to be another loop around the course. The thing I hate about long distance training is this constant need to run. I can’t just run a race and be happy, I’m always thinking “well, I gotta get in X miles this weekend, so I better go run some more.” After cooling down and hanging out for a few minutes, instead I decided I’d head back out in the opposite direction, run to the last person and turn around behind them then finish with them.

Off I went…unfortunately, the last people were half way down the last big hill, so down I went. I passed them going down, went a little further and turned around. Coming back up, I caught up to them at the top of the hill. It was a father and son, trying to beat last year’s time. The boy was 9 years old, and the three of us started chatting a bit. He (the son) did his first triathlon this year and the father was very proud of him.

As we rounded a corner, I paused for a moment to say a few words to a friend, then caught back up with the pair. As I caught up, he (the father) and I look at each other, and he says “I’ve met you before.” Yes, I concur, we have met. I can’t quite place it, but I know we have.

Then he says it was on the train to the Georgia marathon a couple years ago, and at that instant I remember that’s where it was. We talked on the train a little bit, than we had a conversation getting off the train and going up the stairs and escalators. He was doing the ½ marathon, and it was going to be a challenge since he had never done it before. But he figured he had 7 hours to walk it, so there he was.

And the next thing he says caught me off guard. “Man, you changed my life.” (Huh? I’m sure I had a good deer in the headlights look.) He continued “seriously. Our conversation on the train, I asked how someone our size could ever run a full marathon, and you told me how you do it. Before that, I never would have thought it was possible, but you made me re-think it.” Since then, he’s done a number of full marathons (3 this year), the Goofy Challenge down at Disney (“worth every penny”, he says), and is currently training for a half-ironman.

I spent the rest of the morning pointing Jason out to everyone I knew. (We were hanging out at the park after the race.) I’d gesture his way and say something like “see that guy over there in the red hat? He’s done the Goofy Challenge.” Or “he’s in training for an ironman”. It was exciting. I was thrilled for him. I was thrilled for myself. I was thrilled for his son.

Best of luck Jason! Hope I see you around, I can’t wait to hear how the story continues.

Written on December 20, 2011