Race Report: Reindeer Dash for Cash 10-Miler

Reindeer Dash for Cash race report–better late than never…..

Last Sunday (12/2/12),  T and I drove down to Greenville, NC to run the Reindeer Dash for Cash 10-Miler.   This race was a first for me:  a 1pm start time (also my first NC race).

The race supports a great cause:

The Reindeer Dash for Cash is a fundraising event to benefit the Captain Christopher Cash Memorial Foundation of NC, Inc. All proceeds are awarded as college scholarships at East Carolina University, Pitt Community College, NCNG Association Educational Foundation, and NC Wesleyan College.  Each year, the foundation offers deserving students the financial assistance needed to pursue a higher education and the accompanying rewards of learning and character development achieved through hard work and dedication of earning a professional degree.“–excerpt from the Reindeer Dash for Cash website.

From the race entries to the donations collected, the Dash for Cash raised over $20,000 for scholarships.  Amazing!

T and I were up and out the door around 8am on Sunday morning.  The drive down was uneventful and boring, just lots of cotton fields and old farm houses and eating bagels.  That’s all.  We got to Greenville about 10 minutes before the doors opened up for packet pick up so we walked around, stretched our legs, then went in to pick up our race stuff.  Efficient and organized, just the way a packet pick up should be 🙂  And my favorite race shirt–ever.  So soft, and one of my favorite colors–and long-sleeved.  Love it love it love it!

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With about 1 hour until the start time, T and I walked around downtown Greenville aka Eastern Carolina University’s campus, scoping out a place for post-race eats.  We found a place called Sup Dog, and we knew that’s what we wanted.  A nice steamed beef hot dog and fries for after what we will soon find out be a difficult run.

The race started at 1pm on the dot and the field was small.  I took off way too fast, like 7-8 minute/mile too fast.  We actually held an 8:04 min/mile pace for the first 5 miles, then the course turned into mostly hills.  We ran through a park (I can’t remember the name nor can I see the name of it on the map on the website, but I think it was the River Park North, which runs around the Tar River), and it was my absolute favorite part.  It wasn’t very crowded–again, it was a small race field–and it was just hilly enough for a challenge.  Once out of the park, the roads were up and down and my Garmin battery died at mile 7.  I pretty much fell apart after that.  I didn’t realize how much I relied on a silly watch to pace me, but I do.  I was trying to keep my pace, but my legs just wore out going up and down the hills.  T kept me running at least a 8:45-9 min/mile pace, if it weren’t for him I would’ve slowed to the 10 min/mile pace.  The final mile was a huge downhill–followed by a HUGE uphill and eventually leveled out the last 1/10th of a mile over a bridge decorated with red, white, and blue balloons and the American flag to the finish.

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I finished in 1:24:09!  I was shocked, a 5 minute PR from the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in April, and get this–a year a go I ran the Surfin’ Santa 10-Miler in Virginia Beach, about 1 month after moving here and I ran it in 1:42:33!  An almost 20 minute improvement in a year.  Very pleased with my improvement.

After the race ended, we walked around a bit, grabbed some post race snackums, and signed a card for our military heroes.

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The finisher medal was a dog tag with the race name, date, and a reindeer on it.  We stuck around for the awards, because there was as slight possibility that we placed–not too many 10-miler finishers in front of us.

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I PLACED 2ND IN MY AGE GROUP!!!!!!!!  This was yet again, another shock!  I was so happy, I accepted my award and flashed a smile for the camera (the pictures are yet to be posted).  I did miss 1st in my AG by 7 SECONDS, but I am more than happy with my 2nd place finish.

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We waited around to see if T placed, sadly he didn’t 😦  I have to wonder if he didn’t stick around running with me if he would’ve but he assures me he didn’t have an extra 2 minutes in him–I think he totally did but what he was trying to not make me feel guilty.

We went to Sup Dog, had our dogs and fries (awesome fries, btw) and headed home.  6-hours round trip for a challenging, yet rewarding race.  Will we do it again?  If we lived closer, definitely, but since there are some many other races out there that are within that driving distance and support other great causes, my guess is no.  If you live in the area (or want to travel), I would say go for it.  It’s a friendly hometown race that has a 10-mile option as well as a 5k option.

For more info:  www.reindeerdashforcash.org

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