Saturday, September 12, 2009

Alamance County - Mebane on the Move 10k - September 12, 2009

Chad had already beaten me to Alamance County with the Run at the Rock last December (and a triathlon earlier than that), and I finally made it there for the Mebane on the Move 10k. The Mebane on the Move races -- they have a 5k and a mile in addition to the 10k -- are part of a family fun festival sponsored by the Mebane Women's Club, and the Mebane Running Club has a hand in it, too. It was a nice surprise when I pulled in to see Raleigh friends Lesley, George, Kimberlie and David also in town for the race.

The Mebane on the Move 10k isn't a big race -- 129 finished the 10k with another 144 finishing the 5k -- but the volunteers really put themselves into it. Everyone on race morning was very upbeat and helpful, and some very excited folks got all the runners lined up behind the big arch and pumped up for the race. The start was a little bit uphill, but downtown Mebane was all dressed up with lots of American flags and spectators to welcome all the runners and cheer them on.

It was just about a perfect morning for running; the temps were almost cool to me, with a clear, sunny sky and a light breeze in the area. We got out of the downtown area fast, and soon we were out and about through some of the older Mebane neighborhoods with big shady trees overhanging the roads and some early-rising residents out watching the runners go by. There was a big change about the 2.5-mile mark, when we got out on a bigger road with little shade, dead into the early-morning sun. After that hot stretch, it was nice to get back into the shade again as we neared the start/finish area and the 5k turnoff.

Surprisingly, it was an area with a good amount of rolling hills. Normally you'd think of the Piedmont area as being flatter, but they did sneak some hills in there. Fortunately, none of them were too steep or severe, and the downhill stretches were much, much appreciated. The second half of the 10k course included more residential areas with shade and lots more volunteers. The volunteers and course monitors all around the route were very encouraging and very helpful to the runners, whether they were handing out cups of water, directing traffic or guiding runners. They kept us fired up all the way along the route!

Finally we came back by the start/finish area for the 10k finish, and I was very, very happy to see the finish line arch. More of those volunteers got our chips and gave us bottles of water, and they had a nice post-race spread of fruit, snacks and granola for the runners as well. The mile fun run started soon after, and lots of speedy kids and families took part together. Everybody seemed to enjoy the race; Kimberlie was the women's overall winner, and David, George, Lesley and I all were glad to get the mileage in. Even though I would have liked to have performed better, I appreciated all the Mebane volunteers and organizers getting us all on the Move this morning!