"Paul Asay Takes a Cheap Shot"


Back when Sherrie and I were dating I was over for dinner at their house and accidently kicked over a glass of water.  Her aunt made a big pronouncement that “Paul Asay spilt the water”.  Since then it has been a running joke when you make a small mistake to make a big pronouncement about it by saying your name and whatever you just did.  So thinking about the George Rogers Clark Trace Run this past weekend, I’m trying to decide if what I did was a big pronouncement deal, or a real mistake.  Here is the story:

One of the friends I run with here at work, Don was headed down to Vincennes for the 10 mile run they have each year.  This was the 40th year of the race and for whatever reason I've never run it.  Don asked me if I wanted to ride down with him, so just to be sociable I said I would.  I've only done one long-run all winter, and that was just two weeks ago, so I was really in no shape to race 10 miles.  I did my normal workouts on Friday (bike in the AM, swim at lunch) so I didn't take this race as anything more than a long training run. 

We arrived on Saturday morning before the race, got registered and did a warm up run down to the start.  Don was much more in shape for this and did a good warm up.  I chose to be more social for obvious reasons and talked to some guys at the start about the course.  As the race started I kept it nice and moderate thinking I would like to finish this running and not walking.  I ended up after the first ½ mile in a group with the same guys I met before the race.  We went through the first couple of miles in 7:45 pace which seemed like something I could maintain.  By mile 3 or so we picked up another group and maybe 8 of us running together.  Very content to just tuck in with the group and cruise along.  Sunny day, nice flat course and good company made this a rather enjoyable event.

At the 5 mile point I heard the split and the group was slowing a bit from the 7:45 pace so I moved to the front and picked it up just a little.  That ended up splitting the group a bit so from there it was me and two other guys running together.   Nice guys and very positive conversation so we stayed together for another 3 miles.  At mile 8 I heard the split of 1:02:50 so about a 7:51 pace so far.  Feeling pretty good I was telling myself to race the last two miles just to see what would happen.  Pulled away just a little from the other two and saw one guy way off in front of me, but potentially I thought I could catch him.  With maybe ½ mile to go or less I could see the finish line and judging by the pace I knew it would be tough but I picked up the pace to try to make the catch.  Down to the last 100 meters I was still behind so I turned on the jets and ended up passing the guy maybe 10 feet before the finish line.  I was thinking to myself the last 100 that maybe this was a cheap shot to pass a guy this late.  Then I thought about how far I closed the gap in the last two miles.  Competition got the best of me and I made the pass despite second thoughts.

The final time was 1:17:47 so the last two miles I ran about 7:29 pace.  Something I should be capable of for the whole 10 miles had I trained properly for it.  Well as luck would have it I ended up 3rd in the 50-54 age-group and got the last trophy.  I looked at the results the next day and found out the guy I passed was in my age-group.  I ended up with a trophy and he didn't which made me feel really guilty.  So long story short, did “Paul Asay Take a Cheap Shot”?  Was that a big mistake or a small one?  Your thoughts?

If you get the chance I highly recommend the event.  Nice course, good organization and uh “friendly” competition …

  
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