The 3rd annual Randy Miner Memorial Miner Memorial Country Run will go down as one of the hottest on record. With a 5PM start time, temps were in the low 90s and the real feel was in the upper 90s. Not s cloud in the sky could be found. It was a brutal day. The hottest day of the year by far at this point.
Tina, Chloe, Derek and I drove the 30-45 minute Drive to the little town of Etna Green, IN for this race. This is the third year of this event being brought back to this small town by fellow runner and friend, Todd Hoffer. Todd calls this race “The biggest little race you will ever run.” It is a small race, but that’s what I like about it. Todd does a great job of putting on this event and you can tell he spends the whole year making sure it goes off well. Todd takes the time to go as far as to hand craft the overall winners awards for the 4 mile run as well as the age group winners and overall winners awards in the 1 mile race.
At the race this year there was Port-A-Pit Chicken (famous in Northern Indiana), baked goods, and ice cream treats for purchase (proceeds go toward the Etna Green Museum). There was also a small car show and a bounce house for kids.
Starting at 4:30 was the 1 mile race. This is open to runners of all ages, it isn’t just a kids fun run. If you break the course record, there is a $50 award (same for the 4 mile race). Tina and Chloe ran the one mile race. For a change, Tina would be running this mile for time, not with one of the kids. The plan was for the race to start and I would meet Chloe at the quarter mile mark to run with her. The first quarter mile is in grass, and I had Derek in the jogging stroller so that was the best place to meet up with Chloe.
After a quarter mile, you could tell the heat was getting to Chloe. Luckily for her, I was carrying a water bottle and was able to get her some water. After a quick drink she ran a little more and then more water. This went on for a while. Apparently Derek got tired of all the stopping, got out of the stroller and decided he wanted to run some (this didn’t last too long).
After Chloe finished and we got her some water and got her in some shade, I went and did another 1 mile warm up. During this mile, I already did not feel well. The heat was bad. When I got back to the start line, I put my Buff in a large cooler of ice water before putting it back in with about 5 minutes to go before the start, just trying to cool off. By the time the race started, the Buff was already dry.
At 5:00, the gun went off to start the race. Right at the start there was a hill, not a big hill, but enough to keep you in check. I took it easy at the start, at least I thought I was. Not really wanting to burn myself out too early, I let other runners take it out hard and I stayed back. I think I probably fell back to 10th-12th place.
The course is simple, it’s a square. Not quiet a true country mile square, nor of a rectangle. 4 turns on the course and that’s it.
The first mile was finished in 6:04. This is not a very fast first mile for me, so why did I feel like crap? At this point, you could see a small lake/pond to the left. Jumping in that seemed like a far better idea than what we were currently doing at this time. Between miles 1 and 2, a farm house had a sprinkler out for us. Very nice, but could have used an aid station. Between these miles, I climber up to about 4th place overall, but didn’t feel like I was picking up the pace at all. Mile 2 confirmed that I had not. I had really slowed down, so much so that I will leave out the remaining splits.
The first, and only aid station came at Mike 2. There were 3 girls handing out water and there was no one else running right with me. I grabbed the first cup, planned on drinking it and went to grab the second one as well when the girl pulled it away from me. That was going to be dumped on my head. I grabbed the third cup and dumped it on my head. Ideally, I wanted to dump one on my head and drink 2 but that didn’t work out.
During the third mile, things started falling apart quickly, and at about 2.5 I actually walked. Never in a race shorter than a marathon did I walk. But the heat just got to me and I felt awful. I basically told myself that it wasn’t worth risking it at this point and just took it easy the rest of the way.
During the last mile a young high school kid passed me as I was running again. I could tell he was not doing well either. We ran together for a little bit and then he stopped. I looked back to check on him and his hands are on his knees looking like he was dry heaving. He did get going again, and cought back up. I told him than I really didn’t care about my time and that we would just finish.
I love the enthusiasm of Derek when he is cheering for us as we finish.
Ended up finishing 8th overall, a long way off from the top 3 that I was wanting but it just wasn’t my day. I did still win my age division, probably only because after my friend Bruce was 2nd overall, there wasn’t anyone else left in our division.
To say that the race was a total waste, would be a lie. After awards were announced, door prizes were given away. Stuff like gift cards to running stores, training logs, running books, running movies, and other prizes were given out. Last came the 55″ smart TV. After the first name drawn did not step forward to claim the TV, Tina’s name was drawn.
This is a great small town race. Would love to see it grow. Only complaint I had was only one aid station but possibly that will change next year.
So what’s next? A lot more training. I am getting set to shift the focus back to marathon training. There will be a lot of shorter races thrown in but focusing on my two fall marathons. The next race is the Courthouse Classic 5k in LaGrange, IN. I am still trying to figure out what race or races I will be doing the weekend of the 4th of July.