I ran the Excalibur 10 Miler race in Melbourne, Florida on March 18th. Participants could run the entire course or as part of a two-person relay team. A 2 mile race ("Dragon Slayer") was also offered. This was the 3rd year of the 4 year "Game of Stones" series, which offered 3-year participants a finisher crown. This was my first time running Excalibur, so no crown for me.
Training & Goals I'm still looking for my lost motivation and desire to run. My recent long runs have all been races. I'm looking to lose some weight but motivation has been hard to find for that as well. So I guess I've just been muddling along. I still love racing and I was looking forward to this run, a new race distance for me. I hoped to finish in under two hours.
Race Day: March 18, 2018 The race site is about an hour and 15 minutes from home, so I got up early and hit the road. I arrived shortly after the site opened. Parking was nearby and plentiful, and packet pickup was quick and painless. I waited for about a half hour in my car before looking around the staging area. There were several fun photo opportunities in the pre-dawn light. It was fun to wear themed gear -- a knight-themed InkNBurn shirt and a foam kid's crown that I stapled onto a Headsweats visor.
The start/finish at Viera High School means real toilets instead of portalets, woo hoo! Soon it was time to make the long walk out to the starting area. Medieval Times knights dressed in maroon and blue (representing two fields of runners) fought a sword duel to a draw before it was time to run. It was about 59°F with 88% humidity and clear skies at the start.
Mile 1: 11:23 We ran around the school property and headed out onto Stadium Parkway.
Mile 2: 10:53 Following Stadium Parkway, we passed the recently-renovated USSSA Space Coast Stadium.
Mile 3: 11:04 This mile took us to Viera Boulevard, on our way to Duda Farms.
Mile 4: 11:36 We turned onto Duda Farm property and began running on Power Line Lane, a dirt road. There was a lot of course jostling as we tried to run on the hardest-packed part of the road, which was ever-changing. Singing Eastern Meadowlarks all over the place were a nice distraction.
Mile 5: 12:21 At the halfway point we passed the relay exchange point. More dirt road running.
Mile 6: 11:51 There was another half mile on the dirt before we turned onto North Wickham Road. After the turn I had a big problem with my eyes. I always get sweat in my eyes and it's usually not a problem but as soon as we were into the sun my eyes were really irritated. I kept winking as I ran and closing my eyes for a bit when I was walking. It was a big struggle and I didn't understand what happened.
Mile 7: 12:04 Once we turned back onto Stadium Parkway my eyes stopped being a bother. It was my nose's turn! Sniff, sniff, sniff. I was desperate for a portalet so I could blow my nose. After a mile or so of sniffing nonsense it seemed to subside a bit.
Mile 8: 11:44 More running on Stadium Parkway. Uneventful.
Mile 9: 12:43 This mile included an out-and-back portion on Judge Fran Jamieson Way. When I faced into the sun again my eyes started acting up again. Sweat + sun = a problem suddenly!? Strange allergic reaction exacerbated by bright sunshine? I dunno but I was glad when we turned north again.
Mile 10: 11:54 My nose started running again but now the timing was good -- I could run into a portlet and blow my nose with some toilet tissue. After that quick pitstop the course continued on pedestrian trails under Stadium Parkway and back onto Viera High School property for the finish. I was happy to meet my goal with a finish just under two hours.
After the Race There were lots of treats for finishers, including cans of Coca Cola, pizza, BBQ chicken, and chili. Some stands had other small swag giveaways as well.
Recommendation This was a really well-organized race with a fun theme. Course pointers were dressed up in fun medieval-style costumes. Water stop volunteers were friendly and enthusiastic. Law enforcement traffic support was excellent. The course itself was good. I wish I had gotten into the series sooner. Highly recommended.
Chip time: 1:58:01 Placement details: 36/105 in Age Group, 756th overall out of 1577 finishers Race Amenities: Extremely nice finisher medal for all, free race photos, and possibly my favorite race t-shirt ever. Cost: $59.30
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