Cathy and I were the first to arrive, other than Oscar Rosales, the race director, and a few of his volunteers. I picked up my number, and as if an omen, I got number 1.
- 3.00 Mile
- 00:18:16 (official time) Personal Record
- 1 Barefoot 3.00 Mile races from 1998 to 1998/06/13
- 13 Barefoot races (any distance) from 1998 to 1998/06/13
- My Distance=3.00 Mile
- My time: 00:18:16
- Overall place: 1
- Age division (age = 42) : 1
- surface (0-10): 9
- Description: concrete, grass
- Location: Recreation Park
- City: Long Beach
- State: California
But, then I noticed they were all number 1!
This was a one mile loop which we ran around 3 times to get a full 3 miles. The first loop, I felt a bit awkward, because after a short distance I was in 3rd place. I thought maybe I was running too fast. But, since none of the usual competition was here, I held my pace.
At the end of the first lap, the race director, Oscar stopped his motor scooter and started yelling at the two young men who were in front of me. I started to hesitate, thinking maybe we were going the wrong way. But Oscar yelled, “Keep going Saxton!”
So I did. And, surprisingly I was able to maintain my lead for the next two laps. It was a good thing too, because the next two fellows were both in my age group.
Wow! My first real overall race win!
18:16 for 3 miles, not even as fast as my fastest 5K, but good enough this morning!
But, then I went and ran another 5K in the evening. They had prize money there, which is probably one reason that the fast hombres didn’t show up for the little race in the morning.
Thoughts on Winning
It felt really strange being in front. I’m kind of glad the two youngsters took the pressure off me in the first lap – as well as giving me someone to chase.
After the speedy youngsters reluctantly left the race, I was still some 50 meters in front of the next runner. And I felt a great deal of internal pressure to make sure he stayed there. It’s kind of like the problem with being the fastest gun in the west – not that I ever was – but I was the fastest runner in this race! And, there’s that impending feeling that everyone else in the race is chasing after you.
It’s a bit like running on rough gravel; very invigorating! Finishing first is both a relief, and kind of a let-down. I mean no million dollar endorsement offers knocking down my door??? What’s up with that? I mean I was faster than all 60 people in that race!