Sunday, 10 May 2015

Run to the PBR, Augusta GA

Run to the PBR is a tiny race along Lake Olmstead and the canal in Augusta GA. It's unique in that it starts at 2pm in the afternoon. At this time of year in the South this could mean any sort of weather. This year it was hot..82F at the start. Around a100 brave souls decided to run anyhow.

The 2pm start let me avoid the usual 4am alarm clock and enjoy a leisurely hour and twenty minute drive to Augusta. I did race day packet pickup at the race start which we found after a bit of anxious searching for something that looked like it should be a race site. We pulled into a field beside a run down sports complex after seeing a tent and tables.
 I got my bib and tshirt from the race director himself and drove back towards some stores in search of drinks. Dollar General didn't let me down and I emerged with a liter of powerade and water for the dog. 

We went back to the start and parked under some trees and I proceeded to annihilate the bottle of powerade while hanging around waiting for the start. I was well hydrated by the start so much so that I was opening the door of the single porta potty as the race director said go!!
The first mile was on paved trails and I was entertained by a gorgeous collie who was running the race off leash with his owner. We crossed one very bouncy wooden bridge and a boardwalk section before things took an unexpected turn. A single narrow dirt track out and back through long grass. As the leaders came at us I got off the path and let them do their thing. Unfortunately this also meant I got stuck behind some slower runners for a while.

By then the Collie, Oakley was causing some problems almost knocking over some runners and I heard his name shouted quite frequently by his poor owner who I don't think was expecting such a narrow path. By the time we got back to the bridges Oakley was in the river with his owner following along ha ha. We doubled back and I got to see Martina and Boomer at around mile 4, even then the heat was making me feel a bit crappy.
This marked the start of a nice wide dirt road, again I didn't do my homework and didn't realise it'd be more trails than paved. A good portion of this was unshaded and I was feeling the heat. Anytime I got to shade I walked for 30 seconds to cool off a bit. By the time I hit mile 7 it was mostly shaded and I felt happier. Again mostly dirt road with a few short paved sections. The dirt road wasn't bad at all except for a few stretches that were either sandy or had gravel, most of it was pretty smooth. At just over mile 8 I came to the turn around and ran across a dam (?) and had a short stint on the other side of the lake before crossing a bridge. 

Myself and another girl hung around the aid station shortly after that drenching ourselves in water and grinned at each other in a "this is f***ing awful but I love it" way. I took off before her but she eventually reeled me in and I lost sight of her. I saw Oakley and his owner again..he'd gone back to get a leash.
The last 4 miles were long. Probably because between mile 10 and 12 I walked a lot. Mostly to down about 20oz of gatorade after I noticed my fingers were the size of large sausages. My main aim for this race was to not get heat stroke or sunburn so that sign of dehydration slowed me down. That and my Mom called me mid-race and would not get off the phone. I always answer in case of emergencies but now I think I won't anymore.

I brought my belt loaded with gatorade and good thing too because there was a long stretch between some of the aid stations >3 miles and they were only giving out water. Not ideal on a hot day.
I pulled it back together for the last mile and a half (the course measured long) and passed a good few people. The field was really spread out at this point but everyone I came across looked like they were walking the last mile or so.

 I crossed the finish line downed a cold bottle of water and got my medal. My time was 2.15.10 not bad for the temperature and surfaces. The medal was ok..I liked the previous years one in the shape of the beer can guy better but oh well at least there was a medal.
The finish area had some oranges, bananas and nuts, oh and PBR beers covertly hidden in a cooler. There were no age group awards. Only the top 3 finishers got anything and then I think it was just a engraved glass. This was a very low key race.
I hung around for a while and eventually got cold...not even sure how that is possible when it's in the 80s. I did some acrobatics in the car trying to not expose the world to my nakedness while changing my clothes. I was soaked, covered in sunscreen and randomly getting muscle cramps...I'd say it would have been funny to time no jeans just shorts.
We went to a Jason's deli for a late lunch/dinner where I devored a sandwich. It was right near a Whole Foods so we ran in there for coffee, beans for home and two cups for the drive home.
Looking at the results later turns out I was 2nd in my age group (30-39) and 6th female overall. If I'd gone into it to race I could have placed overall as the 3rd place female finished in 2.05, even the first female didn't break 2 hours. That prompted a bit of regret as it's probably one of the few times in my life that I'd get that chance..but then do I want to half kill myself to do it? no I think I'm too lazy ha, ha.
Overall a no frills race the course was interesting and pretty, maybe I'll do it next year if it's cooler and try a bit harder!! No heat stroke, no sunburn just some serious chaffing..mission accomplished.

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