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 best finish ever
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

best finish ever Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:02 pm 

Can you name the race you were most proud to finish? Either because it meant a lot to you, or because you felt you finished especially well? For me, I love the feeling of hammering extra-hard at the close of the race, staggering across the finish line so exhausted that I'm certain I gave it my all.

Of course in reality I usually wimp out and back off a little towards the end, but there was one great race where I didn't. It was a 10K, and I'd pushed myself hard the whole way. At about 5.5 miles we came over the last little hill, and I started to pick it up even more. I started to get crazy, I was flying. I was exhausted, but somehow this finish frenzy gripped me and I sped up even more. At the 6 mile mark I opened up into a full sprint, and was breathing so hard it was more like shouting. I'm sure you could have heard my breathing from hundreds of yards away. As I reached the finish line, I realized it wasn't the finish line at all, but just a balloon arch, and the true finish line was still another few hundred yards. Somehow I held on to the sprint, flying past other runners on both sides, gasping and shouting my way to the finish. It turned out that I covered the final 0.214 miles at about a 5:00/mile pace, which for me is absolute break-neck speed, and I lowered my 10K PR by more than a minute. Although I've since beaten that PR several times, I've never had another race finish like that one.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: best finish ever Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:05 pm 

I have never been in a race. Well, I take that back. When I was prolly about 4 years old at some county fair type thing, they lined up us kiddies and had us "race" to a finish line. The finish line was in fact a rope laying on the ground. "GO!" and off we went. I went as fast as I could and was in first place. Then, for no reason other than I didn't know anything about how you were supposed to do this, I screeched on my brakes hard and stopped with my toes right at the line and some kid then passed me for the "victory". Weird. What was I thinking? I had the idea that you weren't supposed to cross the line for some reason. It just reminds me of the fact that grown-ups don't do a good job giving instructions to kids in sports. Oh well. As you can see, I'm scarred for life.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: best finish ever Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:59 pm 

Stopped on the line... I love it!

If you've never done a race, why not give one a try? Maybe find a 5K in your area. Try for a list. And if you're worried about "coming in last," 1) there's no shame in being last, I've been there myself 2) no matter how slow you think you are, there are plenty of people who are way slower.

Racing can be a lot of fun, and can give you that extra motivation you need to get out there and get in shape.


South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: best finish ever Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:22 pm 

I ran a half marathon last October that went really well (PR). I started the first mile right on pace (that's rare for me) and held it throught the race. It was an out and back and I saw another guy I know coming towards me about a half mile before the turn around point (about 6 miles). So, knowing he was about a mile ahead and I had 6 miles to work with I decided to try to see how close I could get to him if I stepped up my pace. There were two girls in front of me who really paced me. They were running so strong and talking the entire time. I finally passed them around the 11 mile point and then at the 12 mile point saw my friend about 50 yards ahead of me. I couldn't believe how comfortable I was feeling as I cruised up behind him. I stay aabout 20 feet behind him and decided not to let him know I was on his tail. I stayed back behind a few people trying to hind in case he decided to look behind him. With about a quarter mile to go my legs really wanted to pick up the pace (I usually start kicking with 200-300 meters to go). But I held back fearing if I passed him too soon he'd pickup his pace and I'd have a battle beating him to the finish. My idea was to wait until about 100 meters from the finish and then just fly past him. And so I did. I sprinted passed him and because I had a plan to turn the half-marathon into a bit longer run I continued running through the finish shute and back out onto the course for another 2 mile jog. I didn't know if he had noticed me and picked up his pace or not. There was a company there taking finish line photos and when I found mine online I saw him in the background in an all out sprint to catch up to me. He finished about 6 seconds behind me. We talked about it at work and had a good laugh. That was definitely one of my best and most fun races.

I've done a similar sort of thing in other races and it really adds a new dimension to racing other than just trying to improve your time. Near the latter stages of a race I usually fall in pace with a few other runners. I find that we often trade places with one another as we surge and cruise along. Invariable someone starts to pick up the pace as the finish get's closer. I challenge myself try to go with surge and see if I can stay with it or even take the lead. Often time's it's very subtle and doesn't seem like we're racing each other...but I am. I may be a middle of the pack runner but if I can cross the finish before anyone else in that small group....I've won.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: best finish ever Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:05 pm 

At first I thought your question would be easy to answer but the more I think of it I'm not sure which race finish means the most to me. At the Philly Marathon, I had some problems with a hamstring in the middle of the race which forced me to slow down for 10 miles. At mile 20 I decided to go for it and managed to maintain my original pace for the remainder of the race. I was very happy with the results and proud that I overcame the injury. At NY, I didn't train as well as I should have and went out much too fast. I had nothing left in my tank by mile 20. The last six miles were a combination of running and walking but I finished. Although I was exhausted I was proud that I finished. This year at MCM, at mile 22 the heat finally got to me and could no longer keep up my pace. At that point I gave up on my goal pace but still managed a 7 minute PR. I have had other shorter races that I'm very proud about my results but since they were shorter races the pain was short lived and therefore less to overcome. With that in mind, I guess I'm most proud of my run at MCM as I battled the elements longer and gave in less to them than I had ever done. Hopefully someday I can say that I battled the elements and didn't give in at all.

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