Skipjack Run brings fun race with friends, scenic course

Here I am with my award — a basket of oyster-related items and an engraved knife — after the Skipjack Run 10K. (Veronica James photo)
Here I am with my award — a basket of oyster-related items and an engraved knife — after the Skipjack Run 10K. (Veronica James photo)

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Not too far into the Skipjack Run 10K today — Sept. 12 — I had some slight shin pain. Nothing too bad, but I stopped very briefly to roll my ankles out. But I started to feel great as I went on, and I finished the race feeling really strong.

I finished just seconds ahead of my time from last week at the Mike Sterling/Crab Derby 10K. At last Saturday’s race, my time was 54:19. At today’s race, my time, according to my watch, was 54:06.

I wore my watch again for this race, and I think it helped push me along. I hadn’t been wearing my watch for a while at races, but I decided that the watch no longer puts the same pressure on me that it once did. I did try to run fast today, but the watch doesn’t encourage me to overdo it like it used to.

It was a great day for a run. I thought the weather was nice — it could have been a little cooler, but it is September, and it seemed much less hot than last week in Crisfield. The race started at 7:30 a.m., which I feel is a good start time, and it was over before the rain hit later in the day.

There was a strong showing from Salisbury's 11:30 club at the Skipjack Run. (Veronica James photo)
There was a strong showing from Salisbury’s 11:30 club at the Skipjack Run. (Veronica James photo)

There were two turn-around points during the race, and it was a very encouraging group of runners. I didn’t count or anything, but I felt like I knew half or so of the people who were there — a lot of local runners from the Salisbury area. It was fun to see each other and cheer each other on. I even interacted some with people that I didn’t know who were also running the course.

I’m part of the Eastern Shore Running Club, and the race is organized by member Dawn Whitelock.

The course was on rural roads, and there were few moving cars to be seen, aside from on the main road — Deal Island Road — where there still weren’t too many cars. In addition to running over the Deal Island bridge, there was a really pretty water view on the course. I believe that was on Tom Price Road. The race seemed to go by quickly.

I ended up being the fourth woman to finish the race. I knew the top three female runners and was not too far away from third, so I tried to kick it up at the end — and I did — but I didn’t quite move into third, which was OK.

Here's a close-up of the award I received for coming in first place in the 20-29 female age group, with close-ups of the engravings on the knife and a skipjack in the middle. (Vanessa Junkin photos)
Here’s a close-up of the award I received for coming in first place in the 20-29 female age group, with close-ups of the engravings on the knife and a skipjack in the middle. (Vanessa Junkin photos)

I did end up with a first-place age group award in the female 20-29 group, although someone in my age group did place second overall and therefore wasn’t counted in the age group category. I looked at the results, and there wasn’t anyone else in the age group, but I still feel good about the time my watch logged (I was told my official time was 54:05).

Also, shout-out to my friends who placed in the Top 2 overall (Veronica James, first overall female in the 5K; Melissa Wilson, first overall female in the 10K; and Eddy Godfrey, second overall male in the 10K.) And congrats to my other friends who placed or achieved what they wanted to!

According to my watch— which logged 6.2 miles — my average pace was 8:44 per mile. My first mile was the fastest, at 8:30, and my last full mile was the second-fastest, at 8:32. I stayed pretty consistent, with the second mile being the slowest at 9:05.

There were a bunch of water stops, and I probably stopped at too many of those, but following my dehydration experiences, I feel it never hurts for me to take more water breaks than what may be necessary.

I was happy that I was able to finish just ahead of my last 10K, which means each of the three 10Ks I have run this year so far have gotten faster. I have one left on the schedule for 2015 — the Across the Bay 10K.

Here's a close-up of the writing on one side of the oyster knife. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
Here’s a close-up of the writing on one side of the oyster knife. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

This was my first year running this race — it’s in its second year — and I really enjoyed it and the camaraderie of all the other local runners. It only cost me $15, plus whatever the small online fee is, because I signed up so long ago. I would love to be back next year, and I hope I can make it.

(The map below pinpoints the area of the race start. We ran over the bridge into Chance, ran around there and then came back.)

This post has been updated regarding my official time.

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