Monday, May 19, 2008

Beach to Bay

Beach to Bay turned out to be another fun race. I even enjoyed the drive down the coast: the first third to the nuke power plant, then on to Palacios, over Port Lavaca Bay, through Tivoli and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, over Copano Bay, and finally over the Harbor Bridge into Corpus Christi.

I volunteered for the first leg on the beach. This year it was 2.3 miles out, then turnaround for 2.2 miles back to the exchange area. The sargassum was pretty thick from the water line all of the way to the dry sand. The dry sand was very soft, especially near the start and the exchange area. But the weather was about as good as you hope for Corpus Christi in the middle of May: Mostly Cloudy, 71*F with the dewpoint at 61*F, and a NorthEast wind at 10 mph (CCNAS).

I was able to get a pretty good position at the start, but there were plenty of small kids and slower people up front too. The first 100 yards were pretty chaotic. I saw someone trying to run backwards toward the start (Huh?). A small kid going very slow started crossing the field and a runner had to take a tumbling leap over him. I was immediately blocked in by a couple slow people and had to wheel around them, but at least I was able to avoid any collisions.

Once we finally cleared the starting line chaos, two groups formed: one along the seaweed on the wet sand and another on the dry sand where cars had been driving. I chose the dry sand. Most of it was decently packed, but there were still occasional soft spots. After the turnaround, we were completely outnumbered by the oncoming runners and the only option was to follow the people ahead of me on the wet sand through the seaweed. The wind was pretty noticeable, so I sped up to latch behind a guy up ahead of me. After a little over a quarter mile I passed him and asked him to pull in behind me, but I think he just fell back. There was another guy in orange shorts about 30 to 50 yards ahead at the tail end of a pace line. I kept trying to fight the wind and catch up to him but I never made it. The Bob Hall pier just past the exchange point didn't seem to ever get closer. I was slowing some and just tried to keep my place. I was ecstatic to see Sim at the middle of the exchange point ready to go. I ended up with 13:58 headed out (2.3M) and 13:53 back (2.1M). It wasn't as fast as I hoped, but I guess it wasn't too bad considering the soft sand and running by myself most of the way back into the wind.

Seaweed or soft sand

The Tornado Tigers

We ended up in 3rd for the Masters Divsion

At the right is LanceC; his Houston Strider's Team (including JohnH) edged us out for 2nd place.

It was a great day for all of the Tornado's teams

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Steeeve said...


Well done, and congratulations on a fine run and fine result. I believe the 2.3 out, but not quite sure I believe the 2.1 back. Seemed like the exchange was pretty much where the starting line was, and most everybody's out/back splits were pretty flat.

Nuke Runner said...

I checked my GPS again and I had 2.29 going out and 2.16 coming back, so I updated the coming back from 2.1 to 2.2 miles. I think the exchange area was up in front of the finish line. I know I slowed down too much coming back into the wind.