Monday, November 12, 2012

Avondale 5K

Setting the Pace for Conservation 5K at the Avondale Farm Preserve
(That's way too much of a mouthful for me, so I'm going with "Avondale 5K")

Sunday, November 11, 2012
17:39; 5:42 pace.  3rd place out of 72; 1st in age group.  Results here.

This is a new race put on by one of my favorite local non-profits, the Westerly Land Trust.  They have so many great trails in Westerly, most of which I've only recently explored over the past year.  Several are within easy running distance from my home, most notably Champlin Glacier Park, so I am very pleased to help support this event and their cause.

I ran the full course as a warm-up with Jonny.  I was still tight from my week of trail clearing activities, but feeling I could work through it.  We also used our GPS watch measurements to help SNERRO set where the starting line should be.  Not a certified course, certainly, but we'd do our best to get it reasonably accurate with tangents to 3.11 miles/5.00 kilometers.

WTAC singlet-clad Tom, Jeff, and Jonny at start
I lined up with Jonny and Tom on the starting line.  The better part of the first mile and the last half-mile is within the preserve, which is neat, except on this date that meant headwind along Grassland Way on the same section that we'd run twice.  I thought Jonny took off unusually fast (even for Jonny!) and he led the pack for the first half-mile until Tom caught up to him.  I hit the 1st mile split (on Watch Hill Rd) in 5:35, but was already starting to huff-and-puff.  By the turnaround on Champlin Road, Tom had opened his gap and it was Tom, Jonny, and I in 1-2-3 with a fair distance separating each of us.  I came through mile 2 in 5:48, but thought if I could pick it up on the 3rd mile I still had a chance at a PR.  I was really working hard that 3rd mile through Avondale and along the water, but never really felt strong, and then had the headwind again re-entering the Avondale Preserve.  My final mile was also 5:48, and my final time 17:39.  I just came through the finish and Tom was trying to introduce me to this parents, but I was too busy panting and wheezing like a dinosaur to say anything coherent to them at the moment.

My recent position the past couple of 5Ks:
Me (background) following Jonny (foreground) in to the finish

Final strides
PR?  Nope, not this time.  Off by one second, as I think Jonny might have been also?  I really have no complaints, though.  The headwind and my soreness may have taken away a few seconds, but I'm really happy to have run a 17:39.  It was great to see such a WTAC turnout.  Congrats to Tom and Kelsey each doubling-down on back-to-back Saturday and Sunday 1st place wins!  I liked the flat course and almost all on quiet streets and within the preserve.  The race could use some better publicity, but overall a good race and great local cause.

Team WTAC; some of us sporting our singlets and age-group awards.
I love the camaraderie and am looking forward to WTAC entering
true team competition races next month.