Tomorrow I’m running the Reston 10 Miler again for the first time in several years. This prompted me to dig deep to remember stories from the previous years I’ve run it. The first thing I learned is that I’ve only run the race twice before, but I would have guessed that I’d run it several times. Maybe the hilly course made it seem like I’d run it many, many times!
I still have my race bibs in my bib folder, but had to get my running buddy Susan to take a picture of her 2001 shirt (we ran both races together). Neither of us could find our 1998 shirts. Either they were so cool that we wore them out, or so ugly that we wore them as a throwaway shirt at another race!
I ran the 1998 race with my friends Susan and Ramona. Susan and I stayed together the whole race and finished in 1:19:29 (7:56 pace), with Ramona just a few minutes behind us. There are three stories that I remember from that day.
I distinctly remember having a very long conversation with Susan during the race. We are running along quite fast while talking non-stop when a guy caught up with us right after a water stop. He joined in on the conversation. He asked us how we could talk and run that fast. We explained that we trained that way, so it really wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. He stayed with us for about five minutes and then said he couldn’t talk and keep up with us anymore so he dropped back.
Later in the race we saw Susan’s husband. In a cutesy move, I rushed up behind him to say hi and almost cut off a guy as I ran by. As far as I know, that is the only time I’ve almost caused an accident during a race, and I will never forget that embarrassing rookie mistake. The guy didn’t trip, but was quite annoyed by me cutting him off, and I can’t blame him at all.
My final memory of that race was as Susan and I ran onto the South Lakes High School track for a final lap to finish the race. We decided to pick off as many guys as we could in those last 400 meters and turned it on to overdrive. The guys we passed didn’t know what flew past them. One guy even came over to us after the race and made a nasty comment about us passing him so close to the finish line. Sorry dude, we didn’t mean to embarrass you at the finish line!
In 2001 I returned to run the race again, this time with Bill and Susan. Bill and I stayed together the entire race and finished in 1:21:01 (8:06 pace), with speedy little Susan finishing a minute or so in front of us.
Our big claim to fame for the 2001 race was having water handed to us from Alan Webb (at his high school alma mater) two years after he broke Jim Ryun‘s national sophomore mile record in 1999 with a time of 4:06.94 (breaking Ryun’s 4:07.8 record).
Two and a half months after handing out water at a local race, Alan ran a mile in 3:53.43 to shatter Ryun’s 36-year-old national high school record of 3:55.3 on May 27, 2001 at the Prefontaine Classic. En route Webb passed the 1,500 mark in 3:38.26 to take down Ryun’s 37-year-old high school American record of 3:39.0 set in 1964.
The following video is from July 21, 2007 when Webb set his American National record of 3:46:91 to beat Steve Scott’s 25-year old record in Belgium.
Back to the race, in 2001 Alan wasn’t running, but was volunteering. This year the race proceeds go to the South Lakes High School track and field program, and perhaps it was the same back then. If so, Alan was a star on that very same track team.
- Have you ever run a race with a running celebrity?
- Do you like racing the ten milers?
- Who’s racing this weekend?