S.W.A.T. Trot 2009 - The Race Report

It was a day that I won't soon forget. This race meant so much to me in so many ways. It was a mental battle of being able to come back and conquer the race that just last year conquered me with a broken collar bone, but also because it was my daughter Payton's first 5k race.

The race was a night time race with an 8:00 start time. I prefer morning running and I also prefer morning races so this kinda threw the whole day off for me. I have had a couple issues with my ankle lately but it was feeling pretty good for the race. This being the case I didn't want to get out and mow the lawn or do
anything that might change that
so I didn't accomplish much throughout the day. It also makes dinner interesting because we had to eat by a certain time and I didn't want to eat anything too heavy. We opted for Grilled Chicken Salad which turned out to be a good choice.

The 1k fun run kicked off at 7:30 which my 7 year old son Brady was running so we arrived just before 7:00 to get checked in and get our numbers. Everything went off without a hitch and we started to get ready to run. You can see us getting
ready in the picture to the right.

7:30 came and the race started. Brady has some trouble wanting to run fast and then give up and walk. I also know this is how many people run these 1k-1mile fun runs so I knew he would be very tempted. I told him to take off slow and not worry about what everybody else was doing. I told him that we would pass many of them soon enough. He did a great job of going out strong but reserved. We neared the turn-around cone and he was starting to feel it so he asked if he could stop at the cone. As any
loving father would say.... I said.... NO! You are half way, you are not going to give up now. We continued on, and the second half of the run was not nearly as "fun" as the first. Brady kept stopping and I kept coming back and grabbing his hand to keep him going. He wasn't breathing too
heavy so I knew he was OK, but just in need of some mental and physical prompting.
This continued, but he completed it and finished strong. He came in third overall and first in his age group.
You can see him coming in to the finish line in the picture to the right (with his pacer off to the right in the picture) The race coordinators didn't plan very well and they were not there when the first finishers came across the finish line, nor was the clock functioning correctly. My watch said 5:20 when we crossed the finish line. They did find him and give him the #3 finisher card, but somehow when the awards were given out a boy that finished after him got the 1st in age group and he got the second..... The only thing I can think is that they guessed on the time and put a
faster time and so the cards got swapped. Oh well..... we know!

While we were waiting for the 5k to start my daughter, Payton, and I walked over to the spot where I was tripped last year and we had a moment of silence..... OK, I did, she just thought I was weird.

It didn't take long before it was time for the featured event, the 5k we all came to run. We walked over to the start and waited for 8:00. We lined up just behind the starters because it didn't seem to be all that crowded near the front for some reason. 8:00 came and the race was off. We started off at a nice pace and it felt comfortable. I checked the watch and we were running just over 8 mph so I knew we were running a bit faster than I had anticipated.

We came up on the first mile and Payton did a soft but heart felt "yea!" I looked down at the watch and it said 7:22, that is the fastest mile she has ever run. I was a bit worried at that point that I had taken her out too fast and that we would be paying for it before too long. We got to the half way point and she started to fade. She asked if we could slow down a bit when we got to a "corner" and I said sure. I wasn't expecting her to slow down as much as she did though and had to talk her back into speeding back up at least a little bit.

The second mile marker came and the watch told us it was a 7:58. From this point in she was begging to stop and actually did stop one time. It hurt me as a dad to see her hurt, but I have watched her run, and have run with her enough to know she was OK, but just feeling the pain of racing. Being that she is currently training for Cross Country and running with her team I know she will be racing before too long and needs to know that she needs to keep going, and not give up, even when it is hard.

During the last entire mile I ran just in front of her, constantly turning around and cheering her on and telling her to keep it up. I was not her favorite person in the world at that time I am sure. We finally were emerging from the neighborhood which meant we only had about 1k left, I was telling her to turn it on, that we were almost done. She wasn't listening to me, or she just thought she didn't have anything left, when a face I have seen at many of the races around here started to catch up with us. This is an older gentleman and one of the premier runners in the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix Series. He started cheering her on as well and telling her to keep going and to stay strong. She then kicked it in and we started moving at a great pace.
He told me afterwards that he figured she wouldn't listen to me but she might listen to him. :)

The three mile marker came and Will Chamberlin from Classic Race Services was reading off the time. According to my watch our third mile was 8:24. Once we passed that point she stopped. I said, "what are you doing?" She said "we are done" and I said, "no we have to finish at the finish line up around the corner." She then let out a groan but started to run again.

We came around the corner and I saw the clock. The clock was reading 24:40 and I had a secret (to her - but not my Twitter Friends) goal of sub 25:00. I once again cheered her on and said we have to beat 25:00 minutes!

We ran it in hard and crossed the finish line at 24:50 with 10 seconds to spare, an 8:00 mile pace exactly. They gave me the #32 finisher card and I promptly handed it to the one that finished in front of me :) and I took the #33 finisher card. We filled out our cards and turned them in. It looked promising that both of us placed in our age groups. You can see us coming in hard in the picture to the left. The full splits can be seen on my running log.

The award time came and Payton had placed first in her age group and I placed second in my age group. The net result of the evening was three runners and three awards - talk about a fun, exciting family evening.

The official race results are not yet posted, as well as Don McClellan's Photos (which I am told I will have a big part in this year), but I will be posting a link to them as soon as they are available. If you want to know when these are added just leave a comment and check the box to be notified when additional comments are posted.

**edit 6-16 to add the following
Don McClellan's Photoshow - check this out - I am now a star!
**edit 6-24 to add the following
Official Results - long time coming - but finally up!

The bigger images of the above embedded pictures as well as the rest of our personal pictures can be found on Flickr here >> Flickr Stream

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow

A cool thing to note - my recent post about the S.W.A.T. Trot with links to last years injury is on the first page of Google when you google the race name. My wife was talking to someone when all the runners went by and she mentioned that I made it further than I did last year and told them about the injury last year. A girl standing there said "hey, I read about that today" It turns out she was trying to find out the start time and came across my blog - I am now almost a celebrity..... OK, maybe not :)