St. Michael’s Running Festival Recap

Last Friday, I ditched work a little early and hit the road to my parents’ new apartment in Easton. I love it there.  They’re adapting to being in a new place while still trying to empty/sell their house, but they’re enjoying the new scenery and exploring new places.

Selfishly, their new apartment also means I have access to new-to-me races, like the St. Michael’s Running Festival. I thought about doing it last year but now that my parents live only 10 miles from the start, I have a great (and free, thanks Mom and Dad) place to stay.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and headed over to the race “expo” to pick up my number and shirt. The expo didn’t really consist of very much but I wasn’t really looking to shop anyway. Then Mom and I swung by Jimmy John’s to pick up dinner. Overall Friday was pretty relaxed and I got a good night’s sleep.

Saturday morning we all woke up early to make the drive to St. Michael’s. Runners had been told to be at the start no later than 7 and I thought we’d given ourselves plenty of time. But there’s only one road into St. Michael’s. And it got backed up pretty fast. Thankfully, I was close to the start by 7 so I just  hopped out of the car while my parents went to go park.

Going into this race, I didn’t really have any goals. I’d only run once (a couple of days before the 10K) since my half marathon but that had gone pretty well. I ran a 5K distance that day in 26:27, which is pretty darn close to my 5K PR. I knew I wasn’t going to PR on this 10K but I was fine with that. I just wanted to enjoy the race.

A little after 7:30, we were off. After the hills of Frederick, the flat course felt like an absolute joy. I decided to just go at a comfortable pace and take in the gorgeous scenery. It was a beautiful morning and the temperatures were perfect. We ran through the “downtown” part of St. Michael’s, then down a long country road and made a loop through a neighborhood before getting back on the country road. Then we merged onto a nice trail that ran by the water and did a quick turnaround before  the finish line. I felt amazing the entire race. My legs were fresh and I hadn’t put any pressure on myself. I was basically a smiling fool. I got a little competitive at the end and found a few runners to pick off before crossing the finish line.

Official time: 58:37, a 9:27 average pace.
Results: 184th out of 626 runners; 39th in my age group of out of 153
Splits: 9:41, 9:30, 9:34, 9:30, 9:25, 9:16, 7:59 (last .2)

I was pretty happy with my time. And without pushing it, I got my second fastest 10K ever. I missed my PR by a minute and 20 seconds. No race photos yet but I’ll add them in when I get them.

But…I almost kicked myself for not running the 5K or half marathon instead. This half would have been much better for me I think. It was flat and I had a much more positive attitude on Saturday than I did on race day of the half marathon. My time definitely would have been better. On the flip side, if I had run the 5K, I probably would have been in the top 3 in my age group (assuming I ran it in the same time I ran earlier in the week).

After the race, I found my parents and we headed over to the local maritime museum. A couple of replicas of the Nina and Pinta were docked in town and we wanted to check them out. We explored the museum a bit and I almost had a heart attack when a dummy in one of the lighthouses startled me, but I was already creeped out in the old lighthouse and a little on edge anyway. I’m a wimp.

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The replicas of the Nina and the Pinta.

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View of St. Michael’s from the top of the creepy lighthouse.

Before I headed home, I took a quick shower and went to lunch with my parents at the State Bank of Trappe Pizza Company. It was totally my kind of place. The restaurant is located in a restored town bank. It’s got a 1930s gangster theme so it won my heart over pretty quickly. We ordered the Al Capone and it was delicious, especially the sausage. It was a pretty fantastic way to end a great Saturday.

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Inside the pizza place, with an appearance from Dad on the right.