Last year I ran the Pinery Fall Classic for the first time. It was really nice to be in a competitive race again. It had been a while since I had done that. It was a lot of fun and I knew I wanted to go again the following year. So, here is my recap of the 2023 race.
I was at the starting line cheering each set of runners on before my race got underway. First, there was a Fawn Run for kids. It was 200 meters long and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. Next up were the road races for 2 km, 5 km, and 10 km. The final race was the one I entered, the 5 kilometer trail run.
It was an overcast day and there were times in the morning where some light rain fell. It never lasted long or rained hard though. It was a bit cool but overall, perfect running conditions. That is, until my race started.
As always, I start out my runs strong. It felt great to be in third place, but I knew it wouldn’t last. Then, the rain started and didn’t let up. That first kilometer was tough as we were running straight into it. But I maintained my position until some much faster runners started passing me.
I thought I was in about 10th place. It was hard to tell, especially when the lead group gets so far ahead that you can’t see them any more. Someone caught up to me and we ran stride for stride almost the whole time. He was from Windsor and came with a group of friends. I naturally got ahead of him as we ran down some boardwalks and bridges.
Soon, another runner was nipping at our heels. I had my running watch on and knew that I was running a great race. That beach section is always tough. Running on sand really slows you down. My running buddy said that that section almost killed him.
It didn’t though as about a kilometer from the finish line, he overtook me. I kept my pace and thought I’d still have a strong finish. The problem was, he had a strong finish too. I did a last minute sprint but couldn’t quite catch him. He beat me by milliseconds.
The event used electronic timing. There was a chip on each racing bib so the results were recorded electronically. My buddy finished in 8th place with a time of 25:13. I finished in 9th place with a time of 25:13. I had no idea these things were that precise.
Here’s a post-run selfie. I had to change out of rain-soaked clothes.
Last year, I finished in 9th place and was 16 seconds faster. I think the rain slowed us all down a bit. I had some back issues this year as well and had weeks where I wasn’t able to run this summer. I don’t think I was at my peak running condition because of that. But I have nothing to complain about, really.
There were two more runners this year as well. 9th out of 90 runners is pretty good for my second outing. I guess it’s only fitting that I got a second place medal for my age category this year too.
Looking forward to next year’s race already!