I was passed in a race a week ago.
What, you say? I've run over 200 races and I was never passed before?
Runners pass me in races all the time, of course. But last week's pass was something special, a personal milepost. (Right: I set a PR and got passed last week.)
You probably know I coach training groups. Currently I coach the Reebok Half-Marathon Program for the SunTrust National Marathon, coming up next month. Later this week I'll start coaching my club's 10K Training Program.
I have never had someone I coached beat me in a race. I coached the "fast" group in my club's 10-Mile Program in 2006. There was a group of young women athletes in that group that I had to push myself to stay ahead of each Saturday. H, who ran her first marathon in 4:07 (my first one was 5:05), M who ran her first 10-Miler in 1:19 (my first one was 1:29), and Sasha, who is currently a coach in the Program. At the end of our long runs, if one of them was still hanging with me half a mile out, I'd push and drop 'em off the back end.
At the target race, Army, I buried them all by uncorking a monster PR of 1:14. Nobody else in the group was under 1:20.
But since then I've watched them all keep progressing as I have slowed down. I focused on Sasha as the best of the bunch. Not by a lot, but quietly she usually beat them all. That's why I was so glad when she agreed to coach in the Program. She obviously has so much to give to others. (Above: Sasha on the right, with S on the left, before last Saturday's race where she turned out to be a giant-killer.)
The day after I returned from my vacation out west, I ran a club 12K (7.456 miles) race. It was a scheduled part of the Program. Sasha ran it as well. The women started five minutes after the men to alleviate congestion for bikers on the W&OD and Custis trails, where the race course was laid out. I finished ahead of Sasha. But I'd seen how she wasn't that far back at the turnaround.
When the results came out I saw that I had set a PR of 1:01:40 (8:16). Woo hoo! Then I checked the women's results. Sasha finished with a time of 1:01:02 (8:11), in the top twenty.
All things must pass. Congratulations, Sasha. (Right: Sasha running around the Capitol last Monday evening with S as part of the Program's weekly evening run, which she initiated. She exemplifies the dedication of volunteer coaches everywhere.)