Today was the 33rd annual Oak Apple Run in Royal Oak, MI. I’ve probably run this 10k about 25 times, including the 1st annual in 1978. But this is first year I ran as part of a team. We had seven runners interested from St. Paul Lutheran Church so we randomly formed two teams. My team had three runners and the other had four. Teams are scored based on the top three times regardless of how many are on the team. None of us had run as a team before and we had no idea how many teams even entered. We had just registered together to add a little more interest and motivation.
I had hoped to break 50:00 but I had a stretch goal of getting under 49:00 which was my time last year in this race. I knew that would be tough because I really haven’t been doing much speedwork this spring yet. And it was tough, I ran a 50:40. Not what I wanted but not bad. The rest of my team were just a little behind me so I knew our team was not in the running (pun intended) for the prizes given to the 1st or 2nd place teams. However, the other St. Paul team was paced by 17-year-old Max Paul with a 10th place overall 38:13! His dad, Greg, had a very competitive 48:13 and Max’s 14-year-old cousin Emma rounded out their team’s top three with a very strong 51:25 in her first Oak Apple. In fact Emma earned a second place in her age group and Max was first in his.
None of us knew what times it took to place in the team competition so we were all very surprised to hear “St. Paul #2” called as the 2nd place team during the awards presentation. And even more surprised to learn that each member of that team was awarded a $50 U.S. Savings Bond for their finish.
So overall it was a lot of fun to have the team element added to our experience this year. But next year I may choose the teams a little more carefully.