Sunday, October 11, 2015

Shrimp Festival 10K

October 10, 2015

The National Shrimp Festival is held each year in October on the white, sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, AL. The festival offers live music, seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, sand sculpture contests, a golf tournament, and a 5K/10K run. Everyone should attend the festival at least once in their lifetime. There's plenty to see and do, and it's great fun for all.

The Shrimp Festival 5K/10K started at the Orange Beach Sports Complex. There were several hundred participants. All net proceeds of the run were donated to Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment Foundation, benefiting the local Gulf Shores & Orange Beach public schools.
This was my third year running the 10K. My main goal was to finish under an hour, but deep down I wanted to beat my previous year's time. The course runs through the Backcountry Trails. It was shaded in most parts, but it was still warm. I ran my most consistent 10K, clocking the exact same time for miles 3, 4, and 5. There were two women on course that looked to be in my age division. They passed me at the first water stop, then I pulled ahead. Then they passed me again at the second water stop. I didn't think I would pull ahead of them. I didn't want to exhaust myself trying to catch up, so I tried to focus on maintaining a steady pace. Just before Mile Marker 5, I pulled ahead of one of the women. I passed on the third water stop because I didn't want to slow my momentum and get passed again. I picked up my pace and passed several people in the final mile including the other woman that I suspected was in my age group. I usually go out too fast and I don't have much left in the final mile. Today, I felt great and finished strong.

Mile 1- 8:30
Mile 2- 8:27
Mile 3- 8:52
Mile 4- 8:52
Mile 5- 8:52
Mile 6- 8:33
My official time was 54:03, a course PR and over two minutes faster than last year's time. I placed 2nd in my age division.

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