Saturday, August 29, 2015

Schonning 5K 2015

Westerly, RI
Friday, August 28, 2015

According to a Westerly Sun recap of the race, this was my 11th consecutive Schonning 5K!  Held in memory of friend and WTAC prez Steve's father, this is a great community event that I try to make an annual pilgrimage, but honestly didn't realize I had such a streak. After a short warm-up with the usual suspects, we walked to the start line and prepared for battle.  While it was a warm evening, the dripping humidity of late was fortuitously absent.

Mile 1:  Lined up in the front with Matthew and Tommy 5K.  The gun went off, and we smirked a little as a guy with earplugs and carrying a phone or iPod surged out at the front, as we surmised he would quickly fade as most of his ilk do.  However, we would be proven wrong on this one.

Race start:
Matthew and I sporting new green WTAC singlets at far left.
(All pics by Jana)
One of my favorite aspects on this race is running downtown through High Street with a police escort.  As we turned off High Street onto Main Street, we had formed a pack of five:  Matthew and I , and Tom, Mike Tammaro (NRA), and "Earplugs".  We held together in close formation the entire length of Main Street, and were able to run in the middle of the road behind the police cruiser.  The pace was fast, but manageable.  As we turned onto the quieter Margin Street, I felt like I was being dropped but picked it up to hang with the lead pack a little longer.  Mile split:  5:36.

Mile 2: The pack held together for another 1/2 mile to a turnaround at the cemetery entrance.  After the cone turnaround, there was complete separation as the pack disintegrated into five running single file, with me bringing up the rear.  This is the perfect storm for me to really slow down (as I did last year with a 2nd mile of 6:06) as the pressure is off now and the mile is slightly uphill.  Sure enough, at the run onto Beach Street, I check my watch and my pace is 5:53 and slowing.  Don't give up now; pick up the pace and maintain sub-6.  This helped; I indeed pick it up and finish the mile with a split of 5:48!

Mile 3:  Continuing onto Elm Street, I can see the race unfold ahead of me, and after some position shuffling, I'm thrilled to see Matthew is out front, Tammaro and Tommy very close and Earplugs has dropped to 4th.  With less than a mile left, I'm motivated enough to keep the pace consistent.  I feel like I'm gaining on Earplugs on the hill up Grove Street, but alas upon the final turn headed back to the Y, the vitality of youth (age 21) gives him the advantage of a strong kick homeward. I pass a number of spectators and Steve correctly points out that I will break 18!

Final steps before the finish

Final result:  17:46! (5:44/mile) 5th overall; 1st in age group.  Full results here (although I wish they would post on Cool Running).  Really happy with my race performance today.

Awesome WTAC turnout!

 I take in some badly needed drink in the shade, and catch up with accomplishments of many of my WTAC peers:
  • Matthew with the overall win and huge PR in 17:02!
  • Shara first female, with WHS running star Randi just behind her.
  • Tom and Mike B in the top 10.
  • Huge turnout for the club.