McKinney Resolution Run Race Report

I ran the first ever McKinney Resolution Run (a half marathon) last year. I loved the cotton hoodie they gave out as race swag beyond all reason, so I decided to run it again this year. :-) It’s an early January run and it’s a great excuse to get back into shape. I really let my fitness slide after I ran the Boulder Ironman last year and I felt that having a race on my calendar would be good motivation to get back on the horse.

The Resolution Run is small and very runner friendly. You can register on race day! There’s three distances — 1K, 5K, and a half marathon — with only about 100 people running the half. At the start of the race, the official stood in front of us, got our attention, and basically said, “Ok, go!”. Very informal and personal. It was a very nice change from the big races I usually run in.

Off to the races!

Unlike last year, I actually had trained for this race and had even managed to get in a 10 miler prior to race day. My goal was simply to finish without embarrassing myself. I was running with my friend Steve who is faster than I am, but was coming off a series of injuries. We ran together for about 3 miles but he was feeling his oats so eventually I let him slip away. Well, it’s not like I had much choice. (I would get my revenge later, mwa ha ha ha!)

A couple of miles later I heard a strange noise behind me. It was following me and after about a 1/2 of a mile my curiosity got the best of me so I glanced back —  what the heck was that noise? And then I saw it... Oh, the horrors: There was a woman pushing a baby jogger about 100 yards behind me. That’s some seriously bad mojo… My male ego isn’t quite so fragile that I feel compelled to wail and gnash my teeth every time I get chicked (it happens regularly enough, after all) — but getting chicked by a woman pushing a baby jogger? Ok, that’s some major embarrassment factor right there.

I made an urgent mental note to myself: For the love of all that’s holy, run a negative split! (I didn’t. I never do.)

The half marathon course winds through the sidewalks and parks along Wilson Creek. It had rained heavily a couple of days before the race and there was an inch of mud on the sidewalks in some places. Most of us ended up running on the grass along the sidewalks in those places — but the ground was so saturated that running on the grass was like running on green colored mud. It was very slippery. Extremely slippery. Dangerously slippery.

Why am I going on and on about this? Because I’m going to use the mud as my excuse, of course!

I grimly pushed on and managed to increase my lead in front of the baby jogger. (Heck, yes, I checked!) There were three water stops on the out and back course. The water stops were manned by a couple of volunteers each who looked cold. I carry my own water bottle (I like to sip a little water often, not drink a half a glass every couple of miles), but I thanked them for coming out to support us. 

Some of those volunteers looked a little bored. I was feeling a tad guilty for not needing any of their water. “Hmm, maybe at the next water stop I should take a cup anyways. I can always dump it on the grass when they’re not looking.” Those were the random thoughts that went through my head while I was running. That, and “Where the heck is that baby jogger now?” So I was lost in thought pondering what I should do at the upcoming water stop when the runner out front of me suddenly stopped on the course.

Time for a brief aside: My son gave me a “27.4 I got lost” sticker for my car this Christmas. The first thing I did was immediately text a picture of it to all my friends. The next thing I did was cut him out of my will. :-) That’ll teach him to mess with Dad! I procrastinated putting it on my car but finally did on the day before the Resolution Run.

 I caught up with the lead runner in a few moments. He turned back to me and said, “We’re off the course. We should have come to the last water stop by now.”  And thus it was with GREAT irony that I realized that my son’s sticker was all too true. Then two other runners came up behind us. We looked at each other sheepishly a bit and then turned around and ran back the way we had come.

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Check out the little “appendix” at the bottom of the loop. Notice the red colored pace path at that point. That was the four of us standing around mimicking sheep.

I’d like to blame the race organizers, but I can’t. The course was well marked. Yes, there was a fork on the path at mile 10. But there was a sign right next to it pointing the way. My theory (and I’m going to stick with this) is that I was so busy focusing on my footing in the mud, that I missed the sign. It’s a darned good excuse. Safety first, after all.

And that’s why the woman with the baby jogger beat me. While I was on my little excursion, she — heedless of the danger to her and her child! — was recklessly looking at the signs and not concentrating on her footing as she should have been. (<—Notice my righteous indignation.) She sneaked past and I couldn’t catch up in the last 3 miles even though I could see her ahead of me.

I finished in 1:47:01. I didn’t embarrass myself. (Much.)

The face of runner who’s been “chicked” by a baby jogger — and knows it.

As for Steve? He finished first in his age group. He also accidentally signed up as a female runner. (Perhaps he thought the “F” on the entry form stood for “fast”.) When I was checking my results after the race I saw that Steve had come in 1st place… in the women’s masters group. I found Steve and told him of the error. He immediately went to the race director to fix it — but not before I took a photo of Steve’s “accomplishment” and texted it to all our friends. :-) Mwah ha ha ha!

Steve celebrating: A) first in his age group, B) fastest female master, C) not getting “chicked” by a baby jogger. Pick any two.

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The SMS photo that went ‘round the world. :-)


 © Phil Miller 2014, 2015, 2016