Battle of Burlington: Stryder Waterfront 5K

The Stryder Waterfront 5K in Burlington was suppose to be held last Saturday. However, the race was postponed by a week, apparently due to construction in the area. The likely reality of the delay, though, was the run was scheduled for the Saturday morning of the last long weekend of summer, resulting in low registration. Another possibility is Burlington had Ribfest going on the same weekend and the crowds from that were incredible. Imagine: thousands of people congregating into the waterfront area for ribs.
Regardless of the reason, I was annoyed at the date change as a race last Saturday morning fit in nicely with my training plans wheras one this weekend did not. I was tired from my week at work and I was taking a course that started at 10:30. However, I declined the opportunity to withdraw my registration for a full refund and planned to run. So Saturday morning, Daddy and #1 were still sleeping in bed, #2 was locked in front of the electronic babysitter and I headed west to Burlington.
For me, this race was really no different from any other: race kit pick-up, bathroom (but a real bathroom this time), warm-up, gunstart, run – fast. I targetted my victim, passed him or her, and continued onto the next. Once I realized that I was the sixth or seventh female, I was driven to taking down a few more.
With just over a kilometre left, five women remained with three of them in my line of fire. I went after the one in orange but she was protected by two male bodyguards behind her. The path was narrow and I tried to squeeze through – but had no luck. So, I pulled back a bit and waited for the right moment. Suddenly, I picked up my pace and, consequently, my breathing deepened; the guards looked at me and pulled aside, knowing that they had lost. “Go get her,” one said, and I did.
There were now two who remained visible; I sensed the leaders, probably a minute or two ahead, were victorious. My legs turned faster and faster in my efforts to catch the remaining runners, and I hoped the hill at the end would wear them down. It did – but not enough. They finished ahead of me, 28 and 55 seconds respectively. With a class to get to in less than an hour, I ran for the car for a quick get-away, leaving my first place division award (and 5th overall) for a friend to claim.

Post-script: After finishing, I grabbed a bottle of water and the two bottles of juice that all runners were given at the end. Driving home, I was tempted to open one but, being on the highway, I thought it would wiser to keep my hands on the steering wheel. Thank goodness! When I went to put them in the fridge, I realized they were mini-bottles of wine. Now, that could have been a whole other story…..

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