Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Jingling my way to a win

My last race of the year and it was a blast. Gordy Ainsleigh puts on the Cool Yule Jingle Jog 5K & 10K in Meadow Vista, CA on Christmas Day. I don't know how many years it's been going on but it's long enough to have past champions and the young man who shattered the 5K course record last year was there today to defend his title.

My last race was the Helen Klein 50 miler in early November and I've only been doing maintenance miles since then with no speed work so I had no idea what to expect from my performance. My parents, daughters and I (Pat had to work) headed over from Nevada City for the 45 min drive and when we got there it was COLD, about 32 degrees. My older daughter and I were the only ones brave enough to get out of the car (because we had to use the restrooms) and it wasn't too bad in the sun.

My girls enjoying the sun

I only gave myself about 10 minutes to warm up and I forgot to have my routine small snack about 30 min before race time so I felt a little unprepared as about 40-45 of us lined up and listened to Gordy give a very long speech, giving us directions for each race distance (it felt long as I watched shivering runners hopping up and down trying to stay warm, their bells jingling on their shoes; at check in we were all given bells to get us in the holiday spirit).

Gordy giving pre-race directions

I had no idea where we were going so I lined up on the front row and finally we were off. I found myself just behind the lead pack of male runners, I knew I was first female. Before long, the 5K turned right and started up a paved road, up and up and up. I felt strong but slow. Not soon enough we turned onto the canal ditch and it was just like running my ditch at home and I picked up the pace. One guy in front of me and no one behind. Coming off the ditch it was downhill. I thought it would be all downhill but there was one more nasty little climb just to keep us honest.

Smile for the camera!

The guy in front of me was faltering a bit so I picked it up. I had no idea if anyone was in front of him. I was able to pass him on the last downhill about 1/2 mile from the finish and pushed it back to the park. I sprinted across the finish line not knowing my position and was thrilled to find out I was second finisher overall. Wow. I've never done that well in a race. I was checking my watch to see that I finished in 27:42 and that's about the time Gordy announced "oh yeah, it's not really a 5K race, it's actually a 6K".

Finishing strong

Me and Santa, I mean, RD Gordy
The winner was the same young man who won it last year, I believe he finished about 3-4 minutes ahead of me, I didn't get his final time and I think his first name was Shane. Overall winners (and I believe age-group winners as well) received absolutely gorgeous poinsettia plants donated by Eisley nursery.

Me and first place Shane (?) posing for photographer Gordy

A beautiful award
I want to thank Gordy for putting on an enjoyable race and a fun group of people who ventured out on a cold Christmas morning. But especially, I want to thank my parents for braving the cold and watching my girls which made this race possible. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and that Santa was good to you all.

Two of the people who made it possible, my folks

Thursday we're all headed to Missouri to visit family for a week. It will be fun to get some runs in some place new, even if the high is only mid-30's (I know, I'm a wimp). I'll try to post on the blog but no promises. After all, it is vacation :)


Scott Dunlap said...

Congrats on the x-mas win! Sounds like good fun. I hope you and the fam are having a good holiday.


Gretchen said...

Nice one Catherine! Sounds like a great Christmas. I am just starting back to running after a rather large chunk of time off since HK, so maybe next month we can think about getting together for a couple runs.
Take care!

Peter Lubbers said...

Wow, Catherine! Well done! It sounds like it turned out to be a nice event. Sorry I could not make it; we opted to unwrap presents at home instead :)
Did any of the other local GV/NC runners show up in the 5/10K?

Catherine said...

Thanks everyone for the congrats. It was a lot of fun.

Gretchen, I'd love to get together after the new year. I'll e-mail you some time with some possible dates (my schedule is so hectic).

Peter, no, I didn't recognize anyone from GV/NC. From listening to folks, sounded like they were local to that area.

Haven't done any running here in cold, snowy Missouri but I hope to change that tomorrow morning. We'll see :)


Gretchen said...

By the way, I just tagged you on my blog. If you hate that whole "tag" thing, well, blame Scott for tagging me. ;)Although I would love to hear your responses to the questions, it won't insult me if you don't have time for this one.

Diane Allshouse said...

I know it's a few years past this race but I saw the picture and the person who finished ahead of you is my younger brother Vincent. Just an FYI he no longer holds the title, in fact Gordon said the new course record is 1.5 min faster than my brothers time.