Hugh and I traveled to Mexico, MO Friday evening to run the Red, White, and Green Estate Run 5K. They also had a 1.5 mi walk that was free. The name comes from a play on words, the patriotic colors of July and is run on the Green Estates park in Mexico. It is a cross country style 5K that an effort between the Mexico YMCA, city, and cross country team. We both ran the inaugural race in 2006 which was a very hot and humid run that year. Temp was 88F and times were slow due to the heat. It was a fun race then so I decided we should run it again this year. Temps were better at about 80F.
This is an evening race so we skipped dinner and I ate some bars on the way there. We arrived early since we had not yet registered. We arrived just in time to get the shirts we wanted since they were almost out but planned to take orders. Soon after we got there, a 30-something friendly guy walks up to us and asks where we are from and says we look like runners. He was the cross country coach and thanked us for coming and hoped we could talk others into coming next year. We had plenty of time since we were there an hour early. We had several conversations with a lot of nice people and only one person there that we knew.
We met a really nice couple that had met in an online running forum and then were married a few years ago in Forest Park by a pastor that ran and performed the marriage while they were running. There is a video of the running ceremony here. They had driven all the way from St. Louis to run the race.
Around 7:15 we all headed to the start line. Since it was kind of warm and we were so busy talking to people, I skipped the warm up. At about 7:30 a guy described the course which was different than we ran a few years ago. It mostly followed a paved trail with about 3/4 mi on grass. There would be a 3 wheeler with a flag leading, the course was marked and people telling us where to turn. Without this, the course would have been a bit confusing as we crossed the same intersection a few times. The guy said they measured the course many times. Another guy, a Green heir started us off and just said if we fell, they would spray orange paint around us and pick us up later.
I lined up in front behind some young and fast looking kids and we were off with the starting gun. I quickly got up to speed without having done a warm up and felt okay. One guy clearly took the lead and then about 4 of us were running together. I decided I needed to go faster so went between them. I felt kind of odd passing these kids since I was old enough to be their dad. They were discussing catching the lead runner and talked like they were going to hold off. I pulled ahead and one guy catches me. We run together briefly and then I slowly pulled away. First mile was 6 min.
Second mile was the section that we ran on the grass. It didn't slow me down as much as I thought it might, but there were a few holes and wet areas from the recent rains. I was focused on the guy ahead of me and the 3 wheeler to make sure I knew where I was going. Second mile was 6:13.
Last mile were were back on the paved trail. I couldn't hear anyone close behind. No one to push me, but I kept the pace. 3rd mile was 6:10, and last 0.1 was 30 seconds. Overall time was 18:53. Course was exactly 3.1 miles.
Overall, I placed 2nd of 78 runners and 1st in age group 40-44. They handed me a water at the finish and I waited for Hugh. He came in 12th and 1st in the 50 - 54 group. We were the 2 oldest runners of the first 12. The winning female was 25 and the rest were between 14 - 17. A 17 year old beat me by 42 seconds, and a 17 year old was behind me by 43 seconds. I think a lot of them were from Bowling Green, MO.
This race seemed to go very smoothly. They wrote the names in order on poster board and posted the times. Soon, we had the finishing ceremony and all 5 year age groups. Post race refreshments were fruit and popcorn they were popping on site. Also had pink and yellow lemonade. Hugh and I were looking at the results at the end and since no one there knew us, they were talking about us right next to us. Several said those 2 guys must be brothers. Well, if any of you are reading this, we are married!
After, we were kind of hungry since we hadn't eaten dinner so ate at DQ and had the Pecan Pie Blizzard of the month which was awesome! Hugh had a chicken salad and I had the chicken fajita. First time we had eaten an actual meal at DQ in years and it wasn't too bad for us other than the yummy Blizzards.
I was a little apprehensive about doing this race after work since figured I would be tired and it was so late too and we planned to run early in the morning. It was fun to do something different and out of town. They were a friendly group and we got to meet a lot of interesting people. I think we will need to plan on going back next year and hopefully can get some other Columbia runners to join us again like the first year we ran it.