PGRC at Larry Noel 12K

A small but hardy contingent of PGRC runners showed up Saturday August 22 to run the Larry Noel 12k on the punishing back roads of the National Agricultural Research Center. Why? The Larry Noel fulfills one leg of the Maryland RRCA’s quadruped Grand Prix Series. Its very difficulty of course is another attraction in some perverse way. It’s a plain hardscrabble course. No bling!  On the plus side, DCRRC, which sponsors the race, made life a little easier this year by cutting the distance from 15k to 12k (just under 7.5 miles), and changing the starting time, which used to be 5 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, to a more humane 8 a.m. (But somehow they diabolically managed to retain every hill.) This year’s race occurred on a brutally humid morning after a night of heavy thunderstorms. Nonetheless, the shorter distance made this my most successful Larry Noel run ever, as well as guaranteeing a PR (1:24:03), as I’d never run a 12k before. I didn’t cramp up or throw up—a definite improvement over previous attempts—and I stayed fairly relaxed, dousing my competitive genes, and walking a bit here and there. Other women PGRCers adopted a similar strategy, including Chris Caravoulias (1:35) and walkers Lucy Younes and Laurie Fisher (1:48 for both).  On the men’s side, Dave Heintzelman finished in a nifty 59:57.

—Clare Imholtz

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