I decided to do The White River 4 Mile Classic for several reasons:
- It was cheap. (Only $10)
- It was put on by Arkansas Grand Prix Series which meant it would be very well organized. Race would be on a certified course and use chip timing.
- It was in Batesville which was less than an hour from my house.
- I've never run a 4 mile race before so the distance intrigued me. (And yes, it would be an automatic PR!)
- This was the best weekend for my family for me to race for the month of August.
- Hot as blazes. Seriously. The race started at 7:30 but temps were already in the mid 80's with high humidity. After my 2 mile warm-up I was drenched.
- HILLS. They were no joke. The course description on the website says, "USATF certified challenging loop type 4-Mile course." Challenging is right.
- Mile 1- 6:18. Right on pace. This mile was the easiest of the four because it was mostly downhill. I knew I had to watch my pace and not go out too fast because I needed to save a lot for the other 3 miles.
- Mile 2- 6:48. Ouch. Yes, I slowed down by 30 seconds! Typically mile 2 is my slowest mile and today was no exception. Oddly enough, I passed a lot of people this mile, even though I slowed down this much. Apparently, most people started too fast!
- Mile 3- 6:37. A little better but not at all where I wanted to be which was a sub 6:20! More hills but I continued to pass runners slowly. There was one woman way out in front of me who I knew (based on passed race experience) that I would not catch but I wanted to be second female. After the first mile I knew I was third overall female. I followed pretty closely behind the second place female until the end of mile 3. Just as we went up over a bridge I decided to make my move. I knew I had enough of a kick in me to fight through one more mile. I wanted to pass her quickly going up the hill since I knew she was slowing down. It worked!
- Mile 4- 6:27. I feel good about this mile. I passed a few more men and ran up the steepest of all the hills (106 feet of elevation gain in this mile alone). I had a great kick the last quarter mile where I was running in the 5:30's. I love finishing strong and I gave this one everything I had.
I ended up placing 2nd Female overall. (First place female finished in 24:35.) My ultimate 4 mile goal would be to break 25 minutes in a 4 mile race. Not sure if this is the right course to make it happen on but we'll see. It is a little frustrating to think that in April I ran 6.2 miles at a 6:25 pace at the Capital City Classic 10K and today I ran 2.2 less miles at a slower pace. But the big factors today were hills and heat. In April the weather was perfect- mid 50's, I believe. Also, the 10K course was FLAT and FAST. Sometimes you just can't compare yourself to yourself!
Will I run this race again? Not sure. I guess we'll see how bad I want to beat my new 4 mile PR! For now, it's time to get back to my NYC training. I am done racing for the rest of August and that is ok with me!