Saturday, June 18, 2011

Race Report: Hog Jog 2011

ORN: 10K, 50:50, 8:11/mile

A different approach today from my usual (geeky) race report; a few quick words and a lot of photos. Hang on!

The Flora Hog Jog is a summer-time running fixture around here. I've run it off and on since the mid 1980s. The race is aptly named in this small, agriculturally-centered town about 20 miles from my home.

They have both a 2 mile and 10K event each year. Last year, I ran the 2 miler hard and jogged the 10K. This year was the reverse. I looked at my recent runs and decided to see if I could carry a steady pace of 8:15/mile for the entire, flat course. So, I drove up early, used the 2 mile race as a warm up and opportunity to take photographs. We had about 20 minutes between races, enough time to switch to a dry shirt, the lighter weight Brooks Adrenalines and to talk with an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time. While humid, an overcast sky kept temps in the mid 70s for most of the race. It was a decent summer day to run.

The photos below will tell more about the course. Suffice it to say, the plan came together. With the Garmin's training feature helping out, I hit mile splits of 8:16, 8:18, 8:13, 8:20, 8:10, 8:00 and the last .2 at 1:33 (a 7:30 pace). I was thrilled. While focused, it didn't feel like a heavy effort. I placed 3rd of 10 in my age group and set a new PR for 10K, by 90 seconds. The previous PR came in November 2005; I was encouraged to think I could add almost 6 years of age and still go faster at some distance.

Enjoy the pix and brief descriptions!

The whole race starts and ends in the Flora City Park, a wonderful small town park with lots of mature trees and a mood of relaxation.

Flora City Park

The Hog Jog T Shirts are a coveted possession by most area runners. They have kept the same logo for decades now...why improve on the perfection of a happy, running pig?

Best T Shirts Ever

They also bring out extra shirts from past years for move, they get snapped up quickly.

The town, all 2000 or so residents, get into this race each year. Several lemonade stands appeared along the course.

Lemonade Stand

Sign up happened smoothly in a covered gazebo on the edge of the park. No expo at the mega-convention center necessary.

Sign Up Gazebo

At the appointed time, we lined up. With just a couple hundred runners, logistics were simple.

Starting Grid-2 Mile Race

While waiting to start, I saw the back of this girl's High School Cross Country shirt...what a terrific slogan!

Great Slogan on T Shirt

As we headed out on the course, lots of folks came outside to cheer on the parade of runners.

Fans Mile 2

Between mile one and two, we actually ran on Easy Street. Yes, we did. Mind you, this Easy Street was only a block long, so it wasn't like we really found financial security.

Easy Street

The fact that Easy Street intersects with Hoop Street here in rural Indiana is most appropriate, given our high regard for the game of basketball.

The local volunteer Fire Department turned out in force to help block traffic at several turns.

Flora Fire Truck

We first headed south of town and spent about 3 miles running along corn fields. This is a very typical landscape of our part of Indiana this time of year.

Running Along Corn Field

And more fans were out to help.

Fans-Mile 3

We eventually made our way back towards the town park. This pleasant, leafy, mature street was our path for the better part of a mile. I love the huge trees in so much of our state.

Leafy Main Street

And more fans cheered.

Fans-Mile 5

And even a dog joined the cheering!

Fans-Mile 6

We hit the finish line next to the gazebo and it was fun to look at my watch and see the time under 51 minutes. I felt strong at the end; it took some effort but not nearly the effort I recall expending in my previous PR over 10K in 2005. Amazing.

Post race, you might expect to see fresh watermelon in the Midwest in June...

Fresh Watermelon

...but only at the Hog Jog do you also get a fresh, hot pork burger when you finish the race!

Pork Burgers on the Grill

They are delicious...I really enjoyed it this year.

A few minutes after I finished, my work colleague Cara came confidently striding in. She was pleased to have powered through her race goal. She also showed her school pride in the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Cara, Joe

A fun day on the prairie. Hope you enjoyed the photos.




Darrell said...

Congrats on the PR. That is quite the accomplishment, fending of the ravages of time.

Looks like you loped off the sleeves of the Austin shirt. It still reminds me of a fried egg with the yolk smack dab in the center.

Love the dog, too. With its hind quarters on one step and its front paws on another.

Well done, Joe!

Joe said...

Not surprised you caught the detail of the Austin Marathon shirt, Darrell. A sleeveless tech shirt is the perfect running apparel here in the summertime. I had way too many T shirts anyway, so just trimmed the sleeves off of a few. Fried eggs and ham...what a great breakfast to have at the Hog Jog!

Wes said...

a pork burger? no wonder you PRed! and that poor girl graduated from Alabama? how sad!! :-D

Great job, Joe!!

Sarah said...

That looks like some good summer fun! Congrats on your PR!

David said...

I would be totally jazzed about breaking my 10K personal record six years later. Huge!

Great day to be alive.