|Me, Billy Mills, and Michael after the second race on Sunday|
Mr. Mills was the 1964 10K Olympic Gold Medalist
and still the only American 10K Gold Medalist
June 30, 2013
Overland Park, Kansas
Course: Rolling Hills through Corporate Woods
Weather: 62 degrees at start, 70 degrees at finish
70% humidity, 9mph N wind
SWAG: Draw-string race bag & short sleeve tech t-shirt
Race Organization: Good but races started late
Crowd Support: Almost none
Volunteer Support: Small but very food
Water Stops: Adequate
Food: Nothing special, fruit, water, & donuts
Health: Pretty good overall, left upper hamstring a little tight, but didn't adversely affect finish time
Conditioning: Decent, but not great. For the last 8 weeks I've only averaged 33 miles/week and the lack of mileage and condition affected me a little
10K Time: 39:52 6:25/pace NEW 10K PR
5K Time: 19:52 6:25/pace
Total Time: 59:45 6:25/pace
Place: 25th/394 Overall, 2nd/34 40-44 (age 44)
|2013 Overland Park Double Road Race Finisher Medal on left, medal for 2nd Place in 40-44 AG on right|
|Bob Anderson - Kansan, runner, photographer, head of|
Ujena Fit Club, founder of Runner's World Magazine,
and founder of The Double Road Race
June 30th. Kansas City. It's supposed to be hot, sticky, and miserable for a short distance speed race. But it was AMAZING!!! Well, at least the weather anyway. About 62 degrees with relatively low humidity. The races that we ran however ... were really tough. On Sunday Michael and I ran the 2013 Overland Park Double Road Race, a 10K immediately followed by a 5K, with a combination of your total time determining winners. "The Double" was the creation of Bob Anderson - Kansan, professional photographer, head of Ujena Fit Club, and founder of Runner's World Magazine.
Although the races were really tough, I felt fairly good about my performances. I PR'd in the 10K, which I had set out to do, and held on in the 5K for an Age Group award. The downside is I was smoked by my friend and pseudo running coach, Eladio. He didn't beat me last year, but on Sunday he flat out blew me away.
Overall it was just a great day to run in Kansas City. The event was a little smaller than we thought it would be, but many of the faster runners in the area attended the event. Everyone was eager to test themselves in this unique format. But the coolest part of the event was getting to meet Billy Mills. Mr. Mills was the 1964 winner of the Olympic 10K Gold Medal. He literally came from out of nowhere to win in the last 100 meters of the race in what many consider the biggest upset in Olympic track & field history. He is also still the only American 10K Olympic Gold Medalist ever. Coincidentally, it was also Mr. Mills 75th birthday on the day of the race. We got to listen to him speak a little, and when we met him was of course very friendly and gracious.
|(photo source) Billy Mills becoming the only |
American Olympic Gold Medalist in the 10K
at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics
Like Bob Anderson, Billy Mills has Kansas roots. As an Oglala Sioux Native American raised in South Dakota, Mr. Mills attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. It was at Haskell that Mr. Mills gave up boxing to focus on running.
After Haskell, Mr. Mills attended the University of Kansas, also in Lawrence, on a track & field scholarship. While there, he became a three time NCAA Track & Field All-American. After earning a degree at the University, he entered the United States Marine Corps. He was a First Lieutenant when he competed in the 1964 Olympics.
Mr. Mills qualified for the 10,000 meters and also the Marathon in the 1964 Olympics. The favorite for the 10K was Australian World Record Holder Ron Clarke, and a few other runners, but no one expected Mills to even medal.
As the runners entered the final lap of the 10K race, Mills and Clarke were running close together, when Clarke got boxed in on the inside. He pushed Mills in the back couple of times trying to pass. Almost immediately after that, another race favorite, Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia also tried to nudge Mills out of the way. Mills held fast, but dropped to third place behind the two other men. However, in the last 100 meters down the straight away, Mills came storming from the outside to pass the field and cross the finish line for gold.
An interesting side note was television announcer Dick Bank. While broadcasting the event along with Bud Palmer, he started screaming "Look at Mills! Look at Mills!" Bank was later fired from NBC for the show of emotion on the air. I watched old video of the broadcast on YouTube and it is still unbelievably exciting today. Many in the track & field community still consider it one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history. And to date, Mr. Mills is the only American 10K Olympic Gold Medalist.
|World Famous Pre Race Dance|
For the past two weeks I'd been getting out of bed at 3:30AM because I had to fill in for our warehouse manager at work. So sleeping until 4:00AM on Sunday felt like a huge treat. I got up, milled around, ate a little something, and woke Michael up. And then it was time for the dreaded pre-race dance.
Now listen, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here ... but I'm getting pretty tired of the dumb thing. It started as a cutesy little ha-ha just to have something else to add to our blogs. And after a few races, it sorta became a ritual. I've tried skipping it a few times, but every time I opt out of the dang thing, I have a really cruddy race! So World Famous Pre-Race Dance it was. Nerds.
We got to Corporate Woods in Overland Park, Kansas at about 6:40, for a 7:30 race. I wanted plenty of time to stretch, warm up and be mentally ready for both legs of the event. I felt pretty zoned in on the 10K, and didn't care too much about the 5K. And even though I wasn't in peak condition, I felt pretty good and was eyeing a PR in the 10K. As I warmed up, I saw my friend Eladio, the head of Runner's Edge in Kansas City. I speed trained with Eladio's group last summer and recognized a few of the guys with him. We chatted for a minute or two and wished each other good luck. When I went back to the car to get rid of one of my warm up shirts, I told Michael I ran into him. She asked me if he would run faster than me on Sunday. Submissively, I said, "No, I'll kick his ass." And I'll guarantee you Eladio probably said the same thing to his friends after I left - ha. One of us would be right on Sunday. The other would get humbled a little.
|2013 Overland Park Double Race Elevation|
|Form wasn't great on Sunday, hips collapsed|
a little, and my shoulders weren't parallel
When the gun finally went off, I felt pretty good. It was cool for June 30th, only about 62 degrees, and most of the area was shaded. I immediately found Eladio about 50 meters ahead of me and thought to myself, "Just hold back and use him as a pacer for the first half and then fly by in the last two miles." We're usually about the same speed and I knew he would help me run a strong race.
The first half of the 10K went pretty much as planned. I felt really smooth, like I wasn't really working that hard and managed my pace basically as scheduled. But at about mile 4 I really began to notice that my conditioning wasn't quite where it needed to be. And I really started laboring to keep pace. I've really cut back my mileage this summer, only averaging about 33 miles/week for the past two months, and my legs just didn't feel like they had as much response as I would've liked. I had planned on running a negative split race, basically an up-tempo progressive run, dropping the pace each mile. But once I got to a certain point, that became really difficult to do and didn't quite work out as planned. My splits for the 10K were as follows ...
6:42, 6:23, 6:16, 6:28, 6:13, 6:17 (5:59/pace for the final .2) ... 39:52 New 10K PR
As we approached mile 5 I was really fighting it. My form wasn't great. I was sucking wind. But worst of all, I couldn't catch Eladio. Not "worst of all" because I was worried about Eladio finishing ahead of me, he's a really good runner. But I knew if I didn't pass him at the end, it meant that my race time wouldn't be were I wanted it to be ... and worse, Michael would give me crap - which of course she made good on. I kept closing the gap to about 20 meters on him for the entire race, but just couldn't catch him. And then on the final stretch, where I usually display my "amazing kick", I had nothing left ... and Eladio was the one "Kicking MY ass" - ha.
I had about an hour before the start of the 5K. So I went to the car and rolled out on my foam roller that I had brought along. The plan was to keep moving for the entire time after the race, but the lactic acid that had built up in my legs made them feel like tree trunks and I just wanted to sit down for a few minutes. So I did for about 5 minutes. I ate half of a banana. Stretched. Had some blue berries. Stretched. Drank some water. And stretched some more. Even though it was just a 10K, I was feeling a little depleted so I also had half of a Gu gel. After about 15 minutes I met up with Michael. We walked around for a while and then at about 10 minutes before the 5K, I began warming up again. I noticed that my legs felt tired, but not as bad as I thought they would. After about a mile warm up and some strides, I was ready for race #2.
When the gun sounded for the second race, my legs felt great. It seemed like I was running at my normal 5K pace, but when I glanced at my Garmin, I was about 30 seconds below it. That was really weird. For most of the 5K, I could gradually get up to my normal pace of around 6:00/mile, but I just couldn't hold it. I had to settle for about 6:30. Following is my pace for the 5K ...
6:25, 6:22, 6:22 (5:59/pace for the final .1) ... 19:52
My strategy for the 5K was to just "hold on". I saw the results after the first race and knew that I was in second place in my age group. I figured that if I could just hold my pace, I would finish in the top three. For most of the 5K, we found ourselves running in the same pack of people as the 10K. There were a few changes in placing, but for the most part it was the same as the first race. And as with the first race, Eladio was about 50 meters in front of me and I just couldn't match his pace on Sunday. But at that point I didn't care anymore, I just wanted to be done. This set of races was a lot tougher than I thought they would be.
|The medal stand for the 40-somethings on Sunday, me on the far right (Eladio is third from the left)|
As usual, Michael and I had a great time running a race together on Sunday. It was just a great morning. I'm so blessed o be able to share something I enjoy like this with my wife. It makes the whole experience so much better when you get to spend it with someone you love. She of course gave me crap all day because of my cocky prediction about the race, but it was all in good fun. The race took a lot out of us both, so we went home and crashed. But not before we ate some delicious pizza for lunch. It was a nice post-race celebration.
Bob Anderson is planning on growing The Double Race, so you'll probably see one in an area near you before long. If so, I would really encourage you to take the challenge. It's not easy, and you might be surprised by your results, but I think overall you'll really enjoy the experience. We did!
... be great today!