New Bedford Half Marathon by Doctor Death
I warmed up with the Squad and we had lots of laughs. I knew when we were jogging to the start line that this was going to be one tough and crazy race because my goal was to try to beat the HCM.
HCM has come back from a tough couple of years. He has battled injuries but has never quit and never whines.(Actually we have caught him whining a little) At the 2008 Baystate Marathon he almost knocked me on my ass at the finish blowing by me in a photo finish (I was still first ), he then beat me at the Amherst 10 mile race and I told Judge that if he was going to beat me again, I was going to make him work for it.
The Squad was in a big group at the start, yelling, singing and simply doing Goon stuff. Once the gun went off, off we went with happiness and glee! No whining, just running.
Once I crested the final hill around the 3.5 mile mark, I got into a nice rhythm and felt good. I was ahead of the HCM but I also knew it was early in the race and that he was back there with his eyes locked on any Goon singlet he could find. Sure enough, I was correct.
At mile 6, I felt the presence of the HCM coming upon me. When he caught me he simply asked how I felt. I knew at this point that this is where the race is really going to begin.
From mile 6 - 7 I stayed with the HCM and was trying to think of ways I could shake him. From miles 7 -9 I really picked up the pace and pulled away from the HCM but at 9.5 - 10 I felt the presence of the HCM coming upon me again, and yes, there he was. I simply could not shake him!
The two of us really pushed from 10 - 11. I was so focused trying to stay with HCM that I didn’t realize we passed Annie Starret running like a couple of crazy Goons.
I think it was around mile 11 that I heard the HCM say, “Hey, there is Cougar up ahead!” After that statement I knew I was screwed.
HCM picked up the pace like a crazed, possessed Goon and I simply had nothing left in the tank to stay with him. At mile 12 I remember looking at my watch and could not believe my time. I knew if I stayed focused and pushed through the pain I could run a PR.
When I hit the final hill I was running most of it with my eyes closed, pumping my arms and pushing as hard as I could. Once over the hill I looked up and saw Cougar! It became an all out push, with my arms and hands becoming numb trying to catch her.
Pushing to the finish, I passed many other runners but could not catch that fast Cougar. At the finish all of us Goons were congratulating each other, especially the HCM who stood there covered in blood. What a Goon!
I learned from this race to embrace your competition. HCM made me a better runner and pushed me to run a PR. I know that I left nothing on the course, it was an all out effort which makes the beers taste even sweeter.
The Squad had another great day at New Bedford and our Woman’s Master Team even took 3rd place ! Wow! Even our Goon in Training, Chris Russell ran a 137:00 after he had to stop and deal with cramping but never quit.
I am off to N.J. next weekend to run the Ocean City Marathon. I will be displaying the Big Bold “G” and will have Goon Spirit all the way!