Reprinted by request of several members
After competing in 10 Midland Runs spanning the last 13 years, I think I finally succeeded in figuring out how to enjoy the race: run a marathon a few weeks before. In the past, I had always prepared for Midland by running shorter races. This year was the opposite.
It was amazing how easy the race felt after running a marathon. I thought I might have trouble running fast because of my lack of short races, but the last few miles really were strong. The hill at 7 was over quickly. My 64:18 was a personal best by 22 seconds. It was definitely a day for PRs. The weather was perfect, making this the best Midland I can remember.
Held on the third Sunday in May, the Midland 15K has usually ushered in the hottest temperatures of the year. It is one of the most challenging and beautiful 15K courses anywhere. The race has always attracted some of the worlds best runners. It is definitely the highlight of the New Jersey running season.
Midland is a tale of three hills. The first is a gradual climb between miles 2 and 3, usually resulting in a slowish third mile for me. That was the case again today. The next hill is in the fourth mile. When it ends, your quads appreciate the rest of a mostly downhill period that takes you past the 10K point. The last hill occurs at 6.5 miles and has tamed some of the worlds best runners. Even when I have successfully conquered it, I have paid such a price that the remaining couple of miles are a real struggle. Today was different as I hit 6:30 for the eighth mile. The finish was not as fast as I would have liked, but I finished wondering where the next 17 miles were.
And I enjoyed many hours after that with family and friends. And the beer never ran out. It doesnt get much better. But it did. The week after, instead of being sore, I had a perfectly normal week. I had always hoped to think of Midland as a short race. Its a lot of fun that way.
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