It’s tradition around here to run the Reagan Run. It’s a can’t-miss local race.
The race has a tough course, especially for the distance; it starts at the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan downtown, crosses the Rock River, winds through the woods and up some steep grades, and again crosses the river and ends in Haymarket Square downtown.
But the race truly is one not to miss. It attracts more than 1,500 runners and hundreds of spectators.
This year, the race was Saturday, July 4. The weather was near perfect, and the race brought a record almost 1,700 runners!
Christopher set a goal to run it in 20 minutes, which would have been not only a personal best for the race, but a personal best for the 5K distance, too. I went into the race with no specific goals, no specific expectations, except to run a good race.
Christopher lined up toward the front, near the highly competitive runners, while I lined up with the 8- to 9-minute mile folks.
I battled a side stitch through almost all of the race. I ran fast and hard.
I did the first mile in about 8:15 and the second mile in about 9:21. I skipped the first water stop, but I jogged through the second stop. I never stopped to walk, maybe only slowed a bit after ascending the steep hills in the woods.
I crossed the Peoria Avenue bridge and, with only a few turns left before the straightaway to the finish line, I kicked with whatever was left in the tank. I sprinted down the straightaway, passing a few men and a woman who had been in front of me for much of the third mile; I thought I would pass another woman who had been in front of me most of the race, but she scooted ahead of me at the last moment.
Upon crossing the finish line, I felt sick, and I wanted to vomit, but I sipped some water and felt better. After that, I wandered around Haymarket Square, looking for Christopher and his parents, who watched the girls during the race. We all finally met up and walked over to the art fair in the park.
Christopher missed his goal, but by only 83 seconds; his official time was 21:23–a PR by a pretty significant margin and good enough for seventh place in his age group.
I crossed the finish in 26:56–a PR by 56 seconds and a race-specific PR by 2 minutes and 42 seconds!
I had 12 miles on the docket, but temperatures soared into the 80s with next to no breeze for relief, so I put in another 4-ish miles while the girls took their afternoon nap, and a few more walking miles later in the afternoon, and called it good.
For posterity, here are the details:
Distance: 3.1 miles
Duration: 26:56 chip time
Average pace: 8:47 per mile
Mile 1: 8:15
Mile 2: 9:21
Mile 3: 9:05