2011 Titus Van Rijn One Hour Track Classic

This was my second time to attend the Annual Titus Van Rijn One Hour Track Classic, put on by my awesome friend, Emily at the Nampa Christian Track. For those who’ve never heard of it, it’s an event that happens all over the US in the month of May. It’s a free event where every participant sees how many laps around a track they can do in one hour.  It’s very laid back and a lot of fun.  There are always grownups and children and people of all ages competing, chatting and in grand Titus Van Rijn form, celebrating their accomplishments after the event by drinking Black Cherry soda.

Last year I did 6.25 miles (or 25 laps.) My only goal this year was to beat my laps from last year.  My legs were pretty fatigued from all the hills and miles I’ve been doing in prep for the Big Horn 50 miler in June, so I knew even beating last year’s numbers would be a bit of a challenge.  The weather was also very warm out there – about 80 degrees with a 10 mph wind. This year, the crowd was smaller, but what we lacked in numbers we made up for in spirit.  The defending champion from last year, Ben Blessing, was there with an even better costume than last year. He had on a Santa hat, green short shorts, and crazy red, white and green knee socks. He also had something funny written on his chest about being “hot.” It was funny and made me laugh.

We all lined up at the starting line and Emily said “GO!” or blew a whistle. I can’t remember which.  I was thrilled to have three of my kids in the race this year: Rebecca, age 11, Wayne Jr, age 10 and Joshua age 9.  They were each proudly carrying a GU, feeling every bit like serious runners who were out for some serious competition.  My pal, Emily, the race director’s son, Deiter, age 9 was there, my pal, Davina’s son, Tanner, age 8 was running, my friend, Julie’s kids Kyle age 10, Sarah, age 13 and little Krista, age 7 were also running. There were a couple of other kids that I hadn’t met before, but I cheered each and every one of them as I made my laps. Some of our littler kids joined in for a single lap, too. My husband, Wayne, brought Savannah, age 4 and Anneliese, age 6 out on the track and they were smoking along, saying, “Look at us, Mama! We’re FAST!!” I high-fived them and told them they were looking awesome.  Davina’s daughter, Lyndie, age 5 and Emily’s daughter, Margie, age 5 were also looking pretty cute for a lap or so! It was a really positive atmosphere of family fun and exercise!

I enjoyed seeing my friends, Tina, Misty, Davina, and several other ladies out running tonight.  Ben had his competition with one very fast young guy, who I didn’t catch the name of, but who ran very strong in the early stages, before I think the heat became too much for him and he walked off the track.  Ben’s pal, John, dressed in a jacket, warm stocking cap and full tights, was struggling with the heat, as he was using this race as part of his Badwater training to help pace the mighty Ben in July. He’s been stacking up the miles lately.  I was wearing a tank and shorts and I felt hot. I told him I couldn’t imagine running in his outfit in that weather. He told me, “All part of my training!” Impressive! My buddy, Robbie showed up a bit late, sporting a very fashionable John McEnroe inspired white, terrycloth headband! It was awesome!  He was running strong and telling jokes as fast as his quick feet were moving.  I ran faster when he’d pull up beside me since the company was so enjoyable.

I ran steady and kept my pace just a hair under my pace for last year (9:36 last year.) I felt pretty warm and did have to stop for water three times and walk while I drank it. I also took in one GU. I felt tired, but comfortable. I think I could have gone on like that for another hour if I had to, which was what I was aiming for: controlled, steady and slightly faster than last year.  I achieved my goal, too! I crossed the lap line with 6.5 miles (or 26 laps) in 59:39 with 21 seconds to spare before the whistle.  I knew I wouldn’t make it another lap in that short of time, so I just stopped and threw my arms up in victory at that point, knowing I had achieved what I came out to do: Beat my laps from the year before!  I felt great!

Seconds later, Ben Blessing came grunting and gutting it out in the last seconds to once again, claim the title of Winner of the whole event! Congratulations, Ben! Great job! And, congratulations to every single one of the participants out there tonight! You rocked!

Emily did a great job of putting on another successful event! Every participant got prizes and she even had a drawing for gift cards from Shu’s. I won one! Woo hoo!

Everyone enjoyed a nice BBQ afterwards and all went home satisfied with another great race in the bag.

Stats: 6.5 miles. Time: 1 hour. Felt: Ok

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