Saturday, July 12, 2014

Monroe Hose Inferno 15k (Race Report)

After a week off, the Bradford County Pa running scene was back at it once again with the Monroe Hose Inferno 5k and 15k races, a brand new event put on by the Volunteer Fire Company in Monroeton Pa. The typical Bradford County race has long been a 5k or 10k, but in the last year a bit of variety has been thrown into the mix. This first local 15k road race was a welcome addition to the calendar.

We've had a number of exceptionally warm and humid days in the past couple of weeks. It was already in the mid-70’s by the start of the race, which was thankfully at the early hour of 8:00. While the race was fairly warm, there was still a bit of morning fog yet to be burned off, which meant we were spared the brunt of the day’s heat.

The 15k and 5k races started at the same time, which made for a bit of confusion early on as to who was competition and who was in another event, but things would sort themselves out soon enough. After about two and a half miles of weaving the flat backstreets of town, 5k runners turned back while the field of 15k runners crossed the Route 220 bridge, hung a left, and began a gradual climb out of town into the nearby hills.

The next section of the course was an out-and-back with a shorter secondary out-and-back, beginning with a water stop at the bottom of a hill, thrown in the middle. The secondary out-and-back contained the course's only significant climb. I lost one place on the climb, although my pace did not fall significantly, but could not manage to retake it as I freewheeled back down to the water stop. My position remained the same for the rest of the race.

After passing through the water stop a second time the course turns right continuing on out the main out-and-back to the absolute turn around point for the course. I doused myself with water at the turn around and began my run back toward town.

The 5k run back to the finish was perhaps the most enjoyable part of the run, not because I was happy to be nearing the end, but it gave me a chance to cheer for and encourage every runner out on the course behind me, including my sister, who was running her first race longer than 10k, as she prepares for her first Half Marathon in August.

My sister, Ann Marie, pictured above at the foot of the climb. She would go on to finish in just over 1:20 as the 3rd place female in the race.

I finished in 1:10:41, 4th place overall and 3rd male.


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