Four on the 4th
The Four on the 4th 4 mile race was held Saturday July 4 at Hubie Gallagher Park in Covington, LA. This annual tradition is hosted by the 15th Street Flyers Running Club and is a favorite race among local runners. The event includes the 4 mile race, a kids race, pie eating contest, donut eating contest, push-up contest, and the crowd favorite: the Budweiser Bikini Beer Mile.
I had to work the whole July 4th weekend, lucky me, but I was on nightshift. I got off a 5:00am Saturday morning and headed straight to the race site. The race crew was already hard at work setting up so I volunteered and manned the t-shirt and registration table.
The sun, and temperature, rose soon after and the runners started arriving. For about an hour and a half we were slammed at the registration table. I suddenly remembered the race was starting in two minutes and ran to the starting line.
For those of you that have a Garmin watch you know it is a game of locating the satellite while you are sweating and hoping it does find the satellite before the gun goes off. As Murphy’s Law would have it, my Garmin did not find the satellite and the race began.
I made the best of it and tried to keep a sub 7:30 pace so I could possibly get a PR time of 29:59. My previous PR in the 4 mile distance was set at this race in 2013.
The first mile came quick and I was at a 7:34 pace. Mile 2 took us out of the neighborhood and onto 15th Street. Usually the course is out and back on 15th Street but construction in the area changed that this year.
Did I mention it was hot? Did I mention I had been awake for 20 hours at this point? Did I mention I was hot and tired? Well it hit me at the mile 2 mark and my pace dropped. I was somewhere around an 8:00 pace and in 8th place.
We turned around and headed back to the park. I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and was busy wiping the gallons of sweat off my brow.
My mile 3 split was 8:29 and I was disappointed and fell to 10th place. I mustered up some energy for the final mile and moved into 9th with a half mile to go.
As we turned the corner to run the final 200 meters to the finish line I got a glimpse of the clock and knew something was not right. I finished in 29:30 which would have been a PR but the course was .2 miles short. Bummer. My real time probably would have been around the 31 minute area.
At this point I was a sweaty sleepless zombie aimlessly walking around. One of my volunteer friends gave me my race shirt that she was holding behind the table which had my race number attached to it. What the? It was then I realized I ran the whole race without my number, also the time chip. I was able to be manually entered luckily.
I stuck around to watch the contests and kids race but after I misplaced my keys twice and my phone once I decided it was time to go home and get some sleep. 9th overall, 29:30 for 3.8 miles, and awake for 24 hours…..not too shabby.
I missed the Budweiser Bikini Beer mile but was fortunate to watch a few video clips and see the pictures on Facebook later that day. One day I will have to try it.
Until next time!