Race Recap: Bix 7
Bix Beiderbecke must have liked watching people suffer. After all, the Quad-City Times decided to name a seven-mile race after him that ascends 250 feet within the first mile, descends, ascends and descends back to the Mississippi River and then you get to do the exact same route in reverse — all on the last Saturday in July.
I know I can run seven miles in under an hour, but not at the Bix 7. According to my bib, I’ve tried six times (five really, but please don’t tell the QC Times I didn’t run it one year because I rolled my ankle/didn’t want to admit I was too out of shape to try).
This year I ran with my friend Maggie, who shares my quest to run our hilly adventure in less than 60 minutes. While I do enjoy Maggie’s company, I wasn’t fired up to run this entire race with her. When I’m in pain, I don’t like company.
Maggie and I started together last year, when she mysteriously disappeared from my sight right at the start. I had a hunch the 2012 Bix would be no different, and apparently, my gut has good instincts. Besides, the Bix is one of the best runs for spectator support, so there’s no need for conversation to pass the time. It’s lined shoulder-to-shoulder with people the entire route, along with dozens of garage bands, church choirs, polka ensembles, slip n’ slides and water slides. Going out over the hills, man, you feel great.
And then you turn around.
Usually halfway through any race, I know how I’m going to finish. I would have bet anyone halfway through the Bix that I would have finished in under an hour. But the last gradual one-mile incline hurts. Bad. Four-and-a-half miles in, I figured my 60-minute goal was toast. So I walked, and — lo and behold, there’s Maggie.
Breaking an hour didn’t matter any more. Beating Maggie did.
I was already hurting, but the last stretch of the race is a huge downhill descent. So gravity and I gave it our all.
I finished in 1:00:35. Maggie finished in 1:00:34.
As it turns out, Maggie and I both have a tendency to barely fall short of our goal times. I finished the Chicago Marathon in 4:00:52, and Maggie ran it in 4:00:18. So, I conceded this is what we do: we miss our goals by mere seconds. But somehow I’m OK with that. After all, it keeps me coming back for more.
So, I’m going to keep trying to run a sub-four hour marathon and a sub-one hour a Bix. And I’m never going to let Maggie beat me again.
Guest Blogger: Keith Beatty
Keith, a former “I-don’t-run-anything-longer-than-seven-miles” purist, joined the Bad Angels in 2009 because he decided he looked portly in pictures. Three marathons later, he’s decided that he might just like this running thing after all.