Olde Mecklenburg Brewery 1K 2011

OMB 1K 2010 (2011 pics have not been posted yet). Unfortunately for Joey, some of the big guns showed up in 2011. (If you squint, you can see me in the background running my old guts out for 2nd place)

Don’t get your hopes up gang – this may be my quickest, lamest post ever.  I’m gonna knock this thing out and then watch the Mavs/Thunder game.

So where were we?  Oh right, last time I left you I was gimpy and just starting to run again.  Well the achilles feels mostly healed now.  Scared that my shoes had something to do with the injury, Friday I took my $50 Groupon to Inside Out Sports to purchase some Karhus.  I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to buy Karhus, but when I walked in the store, there sat Jordan and Meagan (a former and a current Karhu rep, respectively).  I took that as a sign and pulled the trigger and bought a pair of the Fast 2 fulcrum_rides.

When I awoke Saturday free of achilles pain, I hit the road for an easy 6-miler, and a sort of test run to see how things were holding up.  As I felt fine, I shot on over to the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery for the 2nd Annual Pints for Prostates 1K.  Good cause, good food, good race – sold.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I spotted Thomas Eggar.  I rolled down my window and yelled, “Dude!  Are you running this?”  And Thomas responded, “Yeah, it is on!” or something to that effect.  By the time I parked, I had already seen Chad and Joey (last year’s winner, in case you blew past the caption above).  There went my shot of repeating last year’s second place effort.  On my best day, I was looking at fourth place.

Lots of running pals showed up.  Sarah, Emily, Laura, Tom and Lo, Michelle Hazelton, Danielle (sorry D, gave the hyperlink to Chad – only 1 link per couple, please) with uber-cute Max.  Billy Shue was on-hand to hang out too – thank god he wasn’t running or I’d be pushed down another spot.

I was happy – even if the run were to suck, I knew the post-run was going to be much fun.  And my race expectations were definitely low.  Luckily, the race part of this day was secondary to the party.  It was a 1k formality that would be done in about 3 minutes.

So we lined up and took off when the owner fired an air horn.  No chips.  Bibs were just paper printouts.  Very low-key.

As expected, Thomas, Chad, and Joey shot to the front.  With them, sprinted some big guy, about 6′ 3″, 230, I’m guessing.  He wore a red Izod-esque collared shirt, a red baseball cap, and black high-top tennis shoes.  I’ll see you shortly my Izod-clad friend who we’ll call Lehigh (he approached a group of us after the race and told us he ran track at Lehigh.  Forgive my skepticism, but I just tend to believe that most guys who ran major-college track would, at a minimum I think, wear lighter shoes).

About 200 meters in, Michelle blew past me and screamed for our pals (one of which, Thomas, happens to be her beau, if I’m not mistaken).  I tried to hang with Michelle – I thought I might be able to out kick her if I could just keep contact.

The 1K is just one loop around the block.  As we hit the shaded backstretch, 1 street over from the brewery, Lehigh realized victory was not in the cards for him.  He crashed and burned as Michelle and I blew past him.  Michelle’s engine sputtered a little and she backed off and then cheered, “Go Allen!” as I went by.  I thought that was really nice – not so sure I would have done the same had our roles been reversed.

But then some kid in glasses and a cotton tee sprinted by me.  Damn, always someone around to make me feel old and slow.  I keep telling everybody, “My ultimate goal is to only lose to people who look like runners” and this guy definitely did not look like a runner.  Harry Potter maybe, and first year, not fifth year, Harry Potter at that.  So this is how Voldemort feels.  I was reduced to hanging on for fifth place.

With the race over, it was time for fun.  Thomas won, Chad got second, and Joey took third for the guys – they all won OMB prizes, gift certificates and a growler (a big bottle that holds 70+ ounces of beer).  On the women’s side, Michelle won, Sarah came in second, and Emily finished third – more gift certificates and beer.  It was a Charlotte Running Club sweep of the awards.

I ate with my buddies, the Patania’s.  Then I hung out with the newly arrived John Compton, fresh off his Great Harvest 5k victory.  (And thank you too John for not jumping in – one more spot saved.)  I was chatting with Laura, Sarah, and Emily when a girl walked up and asked us, “Hey, do girls have prostates?”  I was caught off guard and not entirely sure if I should answer – maybe Ashton Kucher was setting me up for some punk’d ridicule (again).  I deferred to Laura who, as the resident health professional, was pretty much obligated to answer.  She was very nice and professional as she told the girl, “No, girls do not have prostates”.

Then several of us moved to the shade of a nearby oak tree.  I talked with Danielle, Joey, Emily, Sarah, Chad, Thomas, John, and Michelle.  It was quite pleasant and relaxing.

Later we moved the party to Michelle’s pool where I diligently worked on the extra growler Thomas had somehow managed to score.  More relaxing good times spent with cool running pals.

Somehow I overlooked a few things, like maybe I should have stopped before the growler was empty.  And maybe it would have been a good idea to throw on some sunscreen at some point.  And while a few of these minor details made for a pretty rough Sunday, they did little to diminish my Saturday.

So the Olde Meklenburg Brewery Pints for Prostates 1K, while not much of a serious running event, is the only race where I am officially a ‘streaker’ (in running parlance, a streaker is someone who has participated in an event every year it’s existed).  I wish it would somehow get as big as the Boston Marathon so I can one day say, “Yeah, I came in second place overall in the first ever OMB 1k, and fifth the next year”.  But in the meantime, I’ll be content to hang out and drink beers there every year with my running buddies.  See you all there next year!

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