Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The 2010 Ghost Run

I was glad that we were able to put together a team to run in memory of Dave and Doug this year. Team Cherico/Zimmerman performed admirably in the 2010 Ghost Run this morning. Our coed relay team was composed of Jim Gotta, Michelle Gore and myself.  It was a great day to run with partly sunny conditions and temperatures in the 40's.

The race was set to start at 9:00 am, but we still had to register and figure out how we were going to get a car to the finish line. As a result, I got to the start, the Hebron Elementary School, at about 7:55 am. Just prior to reaching the start, Jim called to tell me that there had been an accident on Route 66, and Michelle, Larry (Michelle's husband), and him were in the process of finding an alternate route to the start. He assured me that they would be there shortly though. I wasn't worried because he said they had a GPS in their car.  After registering us, I was on my way back to my car to wait for the guys when it dawned on me that they never collected our entrant fee, $53.00 for the relay team. I went back inside the school and gave the woman who registered me the money and she thanked me for doing so. She was a little embarrassed.

This race was a point to point type and there were two check points that we needed to get runners to. At around 8:15 am, the guys showed up and we checked out the map of the course to plan our strategy.  Unfortunately, there wasn't a easy route to follow the course because of the location so Larry agreed to set up the GPS for Jim at the first check point. The plan was to have Jim drive to the second check point to meet Michelle and Larry when they finished. Then the three would drive to the finish to watch me drag by butt across the line. At about 9:10 am, Jim set out on the 3.3 mile first leg (Jim is on the extreme right of the picture wearing yellow and orange shirts). Michelle and Larry had already left for the first check point to wait for Jim.  I was able to see the start of the race from the shuttle bus just before we set out for the second check point.

At 9:20 am, the shuttle bus dropped me and about forty other people off at the second check point, the 8 mile mark near River Road. It was fairly cool on the trail as we waited for the runners to appear.  I stretched and talked to a number of people. One guy told me that he recently started running and had just done his first half marathon.  Another guy was talking to a group of high school kids. He turned out to be one of the school coaches. At about 10:10 am, Larry and Michelle arrived.  They looked like they could have easily run another 6 or so miles. I handed them my hat and camera and set out on the anchor leg, a 5.1 mile route that climbed gradually from start to finish. Jim gave me a high five as I left the check point.

This part of the course was all trail so I got to enjoy the fall foliage as I gasped for air, trying to catch several people ahead. I was able to pass 2 or 3 people, but 2 people passed me, a young guy who looked like he could have run the whole distance at a 6:30 pace and the coach who I had talked to earlier. The miles were marked so I was able to gauge my effort. I was doing just under 7:30's for the first three miles, but a started to get a little tired when the slope increased. With about a mile to go, I started gaining on two guys who had just been passed by the coach. My ego got the better of me as I had tried to no avail to stay with the coach. The course left the trail and I picked up the pace with the finish nearby. I was about 5 seconds from one guy when the course went right and by the time I saw the finish line, I ran out of real estate to catch him. Jim, Michelle, and Larry were right at the finish cheering me on.  As it turned out, this guy had run the entire course and still managed to nip me by 2 seconds.

We finished the race in 40th place, the 8th relay team in around 1:37:30, a 7:24 pace.   We gathered at the finish and  talked for a while before I headed over to the shuttle bus to return to my car. They were serving chili and hot dogs, but I settled for Gatorade instead.  Larry took my picture at the finish, but I had to re-enact my finish because they had left my camera in his car.   I probably looked better then than I did finishing so that was okay.

On the way back to my car, I sat near that guy who had just finished ahead of me. His name's Joel and he's from MA. I figure he's about 58 years old. He really ran well. At the school, I shared my blog address with him.  All and all, it was a fun race.  I think Dave and Doug would have approved this message and our efforts.


  1. Thats great. Congrats on a great finish!

  2. Thanks CeeMe,

    We're bracing for the winter as you can see from our running attire in the picture.


  3. Hi Ken - I'm not too blog savvy so I hope this message works - we placed 3rd out of 16 coed relay teams and 40th out of 295 total finishers - awesome!! I'm sure Dave and Doug were cheering us on during that run - we did excellent! What a fun time, too. - When's the next one?? :-)
    - M G

  4. Thanks for your advice about whether or not I should do a 20 miler 2 weeks before the marathon.

  5. Good to see you plugging away and having fun. How about the weather these days? Nothing more fun than putting your feet in slush puddles and getting splashed by speeding cars. These coming months are going to be trying.

  6. Wow! Impressive finish, Ken! Nice job!

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  8. Thanks everyone! I noticed a typo in my post and decided to fix it. Unfortunately, I removed the whole comment. Sorry about that. Let me know what races you're planning to do in the near future. I'm curious.


Your comments are appreciated!