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Winter Wimp 2009: 2nd in Division!

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 · 1 Comment


Yesterday I ran the Winter Wimp for the second year in a row — my 1-year racing anniversary. The race had special significance for me since a year ago it was the first distance race I’d ever run. And what a difference a year makes.

Just how much faster am I 12 months later? First, let’s put it in perspective: Then, I’d been running for a whopping 2 weeks, had logged a staggering 16.1 miles (total), weighed at least 20 pounds more than I do now, and hadn’t run more than 3 miles going into the 4.4-mile race (which also gives you the option of wimping out after the first 2.2-mile loop). A year ago, I remember feeling like the race was never going to end; I really had to push myself; it was a struggle to make that second 2.2-mile loop. I was huffing and puffing, wore a giant sweatshirt, cargo pants, came out way too fast, and had no idea what I was doing (I even ran with my cell phone and Jotted myself my splits during the race). But I still managed to have fun as I clocked in a respectable 38:33 (8:46/mile pace).

This year was an entirely different story: I’ve been running for a full year, have logged more than 1,500 miles, am 20 pounds lighter, and have run two marathons, three half-marathons, etc. I understand pacing, have actual running shoes and clothes now, and know what I’m doing.

Yesterday’s Winter Wimp was my 1st race of 2009, my 14th race since I started racing, and the second in which I placed in the top 3 in my division (first was the Operation Santa 10k). Yes, I placed 2nd in my division (20th overall) and took home my first running trophy. It was a pretty awesome feeling. I took more than 8 minutes off my overall time vs. last year’s race, and ran it at an average pace that was nearly 2 minutes per mile faster than last year’s pace. Final time: 30:15 (6:52/mile pace).


It was colder than last year — about 12 degrees — and the course was hillier than I remembered, but I gave it my all and had a great time doing it.

The funny thing about running a 4.4-mile race — what I now conisder to be a shorter race — is that it was over before I knew it. As I ran past the starting line that marks the halfway point and finish line, I thought, “wow, that was fast.” I took a cup of Gatorade from a friendly little girl, pounded it, and poured it on for the second half of the race, passing a number of other runners along the way. In the final stretch as I picked it up with my final sprint, I started lapping some of the 2.2-milers and had to weave my way between a snow plow truck and the “pace” vehicle that was bringing up the rear behind the older woman who was apparently the last runner among the 2.2-milers (but top finisher in her age group!).

I crossed the finish line, did a cool-down run back to my car for the camera, and waited for the results to be posted.

After the race, I headed straight for the library, where Jen was working yesterday, to show off my trophy. I presented it to her with a giant smile on my face.

I’ve come a long way in the past year. And what a way to start off the new year in racing!

(View more Winter Wimp 2009 photos.)

Tags: photos 2009 · running

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 suzanne // Jan 13, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Gabe – Congrats! Nice bling on that trophy.