Sunday, December 18, 2011

619 Catch Me If You Can

Rudolph Rampage ½ Marathon

I did not know this at the time, but this would be one of my most memorable runs to date. The # 619 and the words catch me if you can will last forever and I am sure I will think about it on every run for the rest of my life.

This started a little wile back. My friend Dan and I were running one day and we were talking about his little girl and about the Rudolph Rampage ½ Marathon. He had hurt his ankle running a 100 mile endurance run and I told him that I would like to run with Bri and pace her for the ½ marathon. Little did I know what I was getting into at the time.

The plan was to just keep her at a pace to break 2hr (this being her goal). The bigger reason was so there would be someone on the trails with her incase she got hurt. Bri is just 10 years old. I had registered for the run and was planning to be there anyway and I did not plan on running any slower then 2hr. I was more than happy to be able to run with her.

Now I am not a slow runner and I know that there is always some one bigger, better, and faster. I did not think this would come in the shape of a 10 year old girl. (more on this latter)

The morning of the run I was really excited to run with her. She is a great kid and an amazing high spirited runner. I would get to the run and see some good friends. I met up with Teo and we talk a little bit about his Iron Man and me breaking 5hr at a 50k. Latter I would see William and he gave me a card from him and Kristin saying job well done about the 24hr run that I had put on the week before. Good place and good friends.

Then the little trail blazer would show up. She was so excited and that just amped me up even more. Dan and I would talk a little bit about the run.

The start.
Bri took off and I just tried to keep up. Telling her at first to slow down a little bit. She was running close to a 7 min pace and I did not want her to go out two strong. I told her don’t worry we will catch them latter. After the 1 mile and trying to slow her down I gave up. I thought to myself that this is her run and you are just here to make sure she does not get hurt. I just needed to let her run. She ran and boy did she run. She new where all the hills were and where she could really kick up the speed. She is a lot like me when running the trails. Were slow on the up hills, but on the down hills and the more technical parts we fly. 

The end of loop 1
This was a 2 loop run that had a 10k as well. As we came to the last mile of the 1st loop we would get passed be 3 runners and I could tell that she was concerned about this. I told her it was ok that they were running the 10k. We would come up on the start/fin and I had to grab a water bottle. I did not have a chance to get any water at the aid station. She was moving so fast and I did not want to slow her down. Dan would give her a Gu and pass me her handheld. We were off on our 2nd loop. We would hit mile 8 a little over 1hr. I did the math even if she slowed own to a 10min mile she would still be able to break 2hr. about mile 10 there was a bridge crossing where Dan, Allison, and Kristin would be. Dan asked what her pace was; Bri quickly said “I don’t want to know” then he asked if we were ON pace. I then told him O YEA! This was about the time both of us started feeling the miles. She would slow down to about a 10min pace going up the hills, but still hitting about a 7:40 going down the hills. This is where I get in to some one being bigger, better, and faster. This is where I realized that this was about the same pace setting that I ran last year and I finished in 4:48:38. I knew then that there was NO WAY she would not break 2hr. I was having trouble keeping up with her on the down hills, but would see how the up hills were getting to her. One of the last up hills I ran next to her to help keep her at a steady pace, but as soon as it was over she was off again. As we hit the last mile I said “ok one more mile” she was quite at this point and I knew that she was giving it all she had. I said this more as a were almost done, not so much as a lets kick up the speed. She told me she was giving it all she had. We hit the finish and she did hit another gear taking off.

The finish.

She would be the 1st female finisher. This coming from a 10 year old. WOW that is something. As we got done I felt so excited for her. I then realized that if it was a road ½ that there would be a slim chance that I would be able to keep up with her. I run better on trails this is not common for people. I know that I will never be able to keep up with her again in a race. This 10 year old will keep getting faster and faster. I am happy to have had the chance to be a part of her running and hope to get in some training run with her again. I am looking forward to seeing her blow past me in any events we run together in the future.

After the run I talked with friends and made some new ones got some food and laid down. I was gassed. I had planed on running another loop after but new that my legs would not hold out.

I will never forget this. This is what makes running so amazing for me. To see someone so young be able to not only hold her own in a run, but surpass so many seasoned runners.

P.S. my legs are shot LOL 


  1. I had so much fun running with you Joe! I wouldn't have done near as good without you there. It was the most fun run I have ever done! Thank you so much and Merry Christmas! I hope we can run together again sometime!
    P.S. My legs hurt ,too! I'm doing a birthday run on the FHT late March or early April. Hope you can run it with me! -Brianna

  2. Marry Christmas to you to little lady. let me know when and where and i'm there.