I ran this race last year as part of the “Holiday Hat Trick” and it was a pleasure to get to do it again as part of the Millennium Running “Points Chase” (and “Holiday Hat Trick” too)
With a Morton’s Neuroma causing toe off trouble and right knee which needs a lot of TLC, I sometimes get kinda frustrated about running, so I really cherish good days when they happen.
Like all Millennium Events, this was fabulously done – the professionalism, details and great staging – easy registration, custom race numbers, announcers, sound, WMUR TV sports director Jamie Staton and the incredibly welcoming black & white inflatable arches!
It goes without saying that Millennium will have plenty of water, Power Ade, yogurt, fruit, pizza and post race beer. This race had a kid’s Halloween carnival with climbing wall, exotic animals, bounce house, food truck vendors. Plus, it’s really a gorgeous course up and over the Merrimack River.
I warmed-up running the course. Race start was 2:30 p.m., temperature in 50’s and lots of people in Halloween costumes.
I lined up several rows back – there were 854 runners – we were off! Jade said she was running easy, so I tried to get past her, then I put in a good effort on the uphill & we were on the bridge. Not the time to enjoy the view, focus! Super fast Muriel was ahead, so I tried to not let her gain more distance ahead of me. Running legend Dave Dunham was on the bridge right before the hairpin turn. It was great to see him, we runners really appreciated the support of an elite runner/coach like that. Back across the bridge and I tried to keep strong, Muriel kept about the same distance ahead. The downhill was fun and a few quick turns and back to Arms Park.
Often in races, I visualize being on the track to keep my form and estimate potential kick. Rounding the final turn through the arch, I made my move on Muriel, yelling “let’s go!!!” and kicked !!!! It’s so memorable hearing announcer Andy Schachat’s loud shout out – another great Millennium detail, it makes you feel kind of like an elite runner.
Not knowing how close Muriel was, I kept running beyond the line and it took me a moment to “decelerate” and turn around. I saw Aimee Sherman (finally got to meet) and then I ran the course again as warm-down.
Muriel’s husband Norm, came up to me afterwards and said he told Muriel she’s not supposed to slow down at the finish – making me laugh. She is a phenomenal, strong competitor, I felt very lucky to catch her that day.
Additional appreciated Millennium details were a “Holiday Hat Trick” series coffee mug (mmmm keeps my hands warm!) long sleeve shirt that fits and slightly different from last year (so I don’t have 2 identical) and a very, very cherished 1st master glass (different style from other races this year)
We had 3 choices of bars for post-race celebration and a lot of us went to Milly’s, right next door.
My time was 5 seconds faster than last year, so it was a 3k PR! Winning 1st F master meant a lot, I felt very lucky and surprised. The wonderful friends, camaraderie, atmosphere of striving for one’s personal best excellence 🙂 What a great day it turned out to be!!!
1st F master of 117, 12:49 6:53
In the Points Chase, I kept my place as 1st female master, 3rd female and 9th overall !!