This past weekend I traveled to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina for the Cooper River Bridge Run. The race distance is 10k and travels from Mt. Pleasant to Charleston, which is from East to West. Unfortunately, we had a wind blowing at 15-20mph with gusts to 30mph from the West. Although this made times slower this year it made the race more of a strength race rather than a speed race. After a 4:46 first mile, the pack picked up the pace a bit and I let them go. At the bottom of the bridge at mile 1.5 you begin a mile long 4% ascent up the bridge before coming down the other side. I somehow got stuck leading a pack of four other runners letting me block the wind. Without almost any help for the next 3 miles I battled the wind on my own with runners drafting off me. I kept repeating positive mantras and knowing that I was capable of pulling away from them. At about mile five it was down to me and one other Kenyan battling it out and he was able to do so in the last 100 ft. I finished 13th overall, and most importantly 3rd American, in a lackluster time of 30:27. The importance of 3rd American was that I earned $1,000 – which goes a l-o-n-g way in this sport! The race committee at Cooper River does a great thing for American distance runners by giving 3,000-2,000-1,000 to the top three American guys and American women. Not only do they offer that incentive, but they put together a fantastic race to be apart of and I’m proud of finishing 3rd American in a very talented field!
Another positive aspect of the race was my training leading up to the race. I managed to hit 99 miles that week and had a pretty high volume workout Tuesday followed by 16 miles on Magnolia Road on Wednesday morning. I’m feeling very fit and continuing to improve everyday. The next big race for me will be May 7th when I race at the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon (a half-marathon). It’s a little longer than I like to go between races, but it’s also a busy time for me as head track coach at Peak To Peak High School. I’ve been working with the team for a month now and it is great to see the improvement and joy on the kids faces when they improve. If there is anything for certain, I’m addicted to the sport of running/track and field and becoming a very good coach. Speaking of coaching, it’s time for me to head to practice. Thanks again to the folks at the Cooper River Bridge Run for assembling a great field and putting together a phenomenal race. The prize money they offer Americans is outstanding and I’m very thankful they are willing to offer the prize purse.
Here are just a few pictures from downtown Charleston…