racing in the great white north (lockport, ny)

The start of race, trying to warm up with some humor
Nearing the half way mark
The extremely cold and lonely miles 6 thru 9
Checking the clock at the finish, making sure to get under 60 min
Top 5 group photo

Had 2 days to process Saturday’s nice run in the Great White North (Lockport, NY’s YMCA Y-10 Miler).  Was redemption of sorts for a less than thrilling performance 2 weeks ago in the indoor track mile.

The operative word for Saturday was ‘cold.’  Cold at the start, and colder as the race progressed, not warmer.  In single digits, sub-zero WC at the start, it just seemed absurd to be in a race.  We started, and all my running friends and I could do was joke about it for the first half mile.  The absurdity was increased by the slushy/icy surface of a steep downhill for that half mile.  I thought I might wipe out.  (Btw, we would have to finish up this hill later)

I decided to get serious about the race a mile into it as the lead pack started pulling away.  The temps seemed to stabilize, and I started passing a few people, finding some rhythm.  I was psyched at the 5 mile mark when my time was 27:35!  I had thoughts of beating my time from last year (57:48).

Immediately after passing 5 miles, though, thoughts of a PR quickly disappeared, as we were confronted with a direct head-wind.  It felt like an icy punch to the face and the rest of the body.  It would be like this for the rest of the race as the course wound pretty much directly into the wind.  At one point, my left hand went numb and had to re-position the fingers to get some feeling back.  To add insult, the second half was mostly uphill, including the steep final 1/3 mile ascent.

The top five didn’t change after the half way mark, just accordioning somewhat during those five miles.  The wind and the hills would prevent any major moves.  It was a matter of survival mainly, as has been the case in this race historically.  So, survived with a nice 57:33 finish, 5th overall, first Master.  A nice run at this early point in the season, under rough conditions, with a strong field.

And plenty of, dare I say, great memories.  As with most things difficult, it’s so rewarding after getting through and conquering it.  The Lockport Y-10 did not disappoint.  It’s a race for the most serious and devoted of runners.  You can tell the race director loves running and runners: it’s the only race I know that gives runners the chance to opt out of getting a race shirt in exchange for lower fees (for only $15!).

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