A third successful finish at the Mike Sterling/Crab Derby 10K

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Here I am after finishing the Mike Sterling/Crab Derby 10K on Saturday, Sept. 5. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
Here I am after finishing the Mike Sterling/Crab Derby 10K on Saturday, Sept. 5. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The Mike Sterling/Crab Derby 10K, held each Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, is a race that means a lot to me. In 2012 — my first time running the race — I did not hydrate or listen to my body, got heatstroke and was hospitalized. The community was great, helpful and saved my life that day.

This was my third year coming back for the race without ending up in the hospital. (Here’s my post from last year.)

Year after year, I see many familiar faces at the race, and this year, I also knew the organizers. I like the course — as I mentioned last year, it’s a course that feels quick. I think the fact that it’s not an out-and-back, that there are a bunch of turns and plenty to look at help in that regard. It’s also flat, but that’s true of pretty much any race around here.

This year, my time was 54:19 — not my fastest time, but more than three minutes faster than the other 10K I’ve run so far this year, the Great Wyoming Buffalo Stampede. The entire race, I was behind another runner close to my age who is actually the daughter of the namesake of the race, Mike Sterling. She definitely kept me going, and I finished less than 10 seconds behind her. I finished second in our age group, female 20-29.

It seemed like many runners had a fast first mile, and I was no exception — I did wear a watch this time, and it logged a 7:58 first mile, while my average pace was 8:48. The last full mile logged, Mile 6, was actually my second-fastest of the race, at 8:36. I think it was because of the runner in front of me keeping me going — and, I also knew the end was near. My watch logged 6.18 miles for the race.

I hit the 800-mile mark at the Mike Sterling/Crab Derby 10K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
I hit the 800-mile mark at the Mike Sterling/Crab Derby 10K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

It’s always a hot race, but it is on Labor Day weekend, so that’s to be expected. It didn’t seem like it was quite as hot as last year, but maybe that’s just my memory. It definitely didn’t feel as hot as the Great Wyoming Buffalo Stampede that I ran earlier this year.

This run — which has popsicle-stick timing, by the way — also put me past the 800-mile milestone for 2015.

I’ll be back in Somerset County next weekend for the Skipjack 10K in Deal Island. September is always a busy race month for me — and I’m grateful that I can continue to race thanks to the help of those in Crisfield three years ago.

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