EDWARDSVILLE - Sam Brammeier from Edwardsville won the men's 25-29 age group in the Route 66 10K Run road race on June 10, coming in at 41:02 to finish 14th overall in the race, held on June 10 in downtown Edwardsville.
Brammeier, 29, felt he ran a good race and conditions were very favorable to the entire field, with temperatures in the mid-60s, low humidity, a very good breeze blowing and very good cloud cover throughout the event.
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"I did pretty well," Brammeier said in his post-race interview. "I didn't get my fastest time, no, but I cleared my age group. So it was fun and it wasn't too hot, so, it was a fun race."
In fact, race organizers had said it was the best weather ever in the 17-year history of the run, which made all involved that much happier.
"Absolutely," Brammeier said. "I've run it three years in a row and there have been some times where it's been mid-80s, it's been high heat and you sweat out more water than you drink of the course. So it was pretty good."
The fun atmosphere and community support of the event is also very important as well.
"Absolutely," Brammeier said, "because it's one thing to go for a run, but it's so much more fun when you have the energy of the crowd and you have so many people coming out to support and cheer you on. And all of the cheer stations, they went above and beyond this year, with just the outfits and the decorations, the music that they had, they did a really, really good job."
That support is very important to the runners and their community.
"It's absolutely important," Brammeier said. "All of the support that they have, because when you're two, three, four miles in, the finish line's nowhere in sight and you kind of start to have that self-doubt, it's incredibly motivating when you look to your right and to your left and you have just people cheering you on the whole way. So it's definitely a big motivator."
Brammeier has been an active runner for eight years, starting off as a hobby, but grew into much more.
"I've been running for eight years," Brammeier said. "It started off just as a fun hobby to do on the weekends and then, once you win one medal, you start to have that desire to go get another and another. Then, you just meet so many cool people along the way that they motivate you to sign up for another race and another race and another race."
Brammeier also had one of the best experiences of his life when he ran in the Boston Marathon, the world's biggest road race, on Apr. 17.
"it was out of this world," Brammeier said. "It's so hard to put into words, just the crowd and the energy around Boston. It's a legendary race, so just to be part of that, it was a life goal."
After surviving Heartbreak Hill and the other famed landmarks of the course, Brammeier definitely enjoyed the bowl of beef stew that's traditionally given to every runner who finishes the race.
"Food never tasted so good, water never tasted so good," Brammeier said with a big smile. "But it's something I'll absolutely do again."
Brammeier is also looking ahead to the Covered Bridge 5K run on June 17 and after having won his age group in the first leg of the Goshen Triple Crown series, the 5K Run for Bonifest, where he had a time of 19:30, he'll go for the sweep of the three races.
"Yes," Brammeier said emphatically. "So that'll the one to round out. I did the Run for Bonifest, got first in my age group, did the Route 66, got first in my age group, so I'm looking to round it off in the Covered Bridge and kind of hold that place in line."
Taking the age group treble would be an incredible accomplishment for Brammeier.
"Absolutely," he said. "I may just run the race in a crown, we'll see," he said with a laugh.
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