This was my third year running the Jubilee Run for Cancer. The proceeds from this run benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life organization. This event is held to celebrate life, encourage survivors to continue fighting, and honor those who lost their brave battle with this disease.
I like this run for the 8K distance because it is not offered around here that often. I also like to participate in any run that benefits cancer organizations. Cancer has impacted so many families including my own. I've lost my brother and both of my grandmothers to cancer. My mom and grandfather are both survivors. Two months after this race my dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Fortunately, it was detected in the early stage. He recently completed his chemo and radiation treatments and will undergo surgery in January 2017.
I pray that one day cancer will cease to exist. In the meantime, I will do my part to support charities such as the American Cancer Society that help families affected by this terrible disease.
This run begins and ends at Old Alabama Town. It runs through portions of downtown Montgomery and through historical residential areas. It's a challenging course with no shortage of hills. It has been incredibly hot in the past, but this year it was overcast and breezy.
I saw my friend Valerie at the start of the race. Although she's run several races, this was her first time running the 8K distance which meant it was an automatic PR for her. I was hoping for a course PR. My current 8K PR (43:35) was from this race in 2014.
There were two hills in the first mile of this race. The first up Madison Ave followed by a long gradual incline up Dexter Ave towards the state capitol. I was settling into a comfortable sub 9:00 minute pace and I was hoping I could maintain it.
The climb up Dexter Ave towards the State Capitol
I encountered another hill somewhere between Miles 2 and 3. I was determined not to walk it. I knew I needed all sub 9:00 minute miles to beat my current 8K PR.
Another hill between Miles 2 and 3
I ran to the top, but my pace was slowing.
Mile 1- 8:33
Mile 2- 8:44
Mile 3- 8:57
The hills were beginning to take their toll on me. I could feel my pace slowing with every mile. I stopped to walk at the second water stop and I had a tough time getting back into the rhythm after that. I clocked Mile 4 above a 9 minute pace. I thought a course PR was out of the question at that point.
Mile 4- 9:16
The final stretch of the race ran past Oakwood Cemetery and up Columbus Street (the biggest hill of the entire race). I was feeling defeated at this point. My hopes of a new course PR were diminished after seeing the last mile I clocked over nine minutes. I walked the majority of this hill.
The final hill of the race
Near the top I looked at my Garmin and realized I was closer to a course PR than I thought. I was only paying attention to my mile splits and not my overall time. If I pushed I could beat my time if only by a few seconds. I took advantage of the downhill stretch to the finish and picked up my pace.
I crossed the finish line in 43:43. I came so close, only eight seconds from my current PR. I was kicking myself for walking so much in the final miles.
I enjoyed catching up with Valerie (icecreamrunner) after the race while we waited on the results to be tabulated. They posted our results before the awards ceremony. We were both excited to place in our age groups. I placed 1st in my age group and Valerie placed 2nd in hers.
This is one of my favorite local races and I will run it every year that I am able. My PR from 2014 still stands. Hopefully, 2017 will be my year to PR this distance.