Friday, December 4, 2015

Thanksgiving Races

Much as intimated by Tommy 5K, it's a fun twist to commence your Thanksgiving holiday with a race.  Somewhere along the line, I got myself signed up for a back-to-back 5K Thursday and Friday.  Here's my holiday tale:

Not the cheapest, the closest, or the flattest, but Matthew and I signed up for this race for something different and Jana signed up to volunteer for my employer at registration.  This race had occurred in past years, but is the first time the bank was the lead sponsor as they're looking to build more brand awareness in northern RI.

Matthew and I ran basically the whole course as a warm-up.  The start/finish line was in an attractive area opposite City Hall and along the Blackstone River.  Despite the unusually large number of runners (1,316 finishers), we were able to get a front row start.

Mile 1:
Pausing after getting in a few strides just before the start
It was really neat that the police had the streets closed for almost the entire course.  After a quick 1/4 mile, I found myself in about 15th position to begin the hill climb.  A slow climb of about 100' over the next 1/2 mile.  Finished mile 1 in 5:43.  I guess not bad given the hill.
Start of the race.  Matthew (in orange) taking it out with the leaders.
Bagpiper in first mile was a nice touch.

Mile 2:  The ranks are thinning out.  I pass 2-3 more.  Coming up to a turnaround in a sort of ugly industrial area, I can see a lead pack of 7 with Matthew at the back.  Mile 2 split 5:47.
The leaders at mile 2.  Matthew bringing up the back of the lead pack.

Mile 3 and finish:  A short flat section, and then it's all downhill to the finish.  Pass a runner on the downhill, final turn and home.  5:38 final mile for my fastest mile on the day.
Gazellin' it to the finish


Matthew took 3rd overall, and I took 10th with a first in my age group. 18:03.  Full results
Shortly after finishing, they called my name up to get a plaque for winning my age group.  Excellent!  I had fears of waiting a long time in crowds for an award ceremony and being late to Mom's for Thanksgiving dinner.  This event was extremely well organized.
Really neat plaque for
winning my age group

The long sleeve tech shirt isn't bad either.

Chariho Alumni 5K
Friday, November 27

After signing up for the T-day race, I got an e-mail from fellow Chariho alum Muddy about this race.  I had taken the day off from work, and it might be my last opportunity to run in a race with Matthew for months, so why not.

In sharp contrast to yesterday's mega-road race, this was an old school cross-country race of 25 runners.  Took the first mile out hard in 5:40, but on the return from the far southern end of the course, I just plain ran out of steam.  Although I was still passing a few youngsters in Mile 2, the 2nd split was a disappointing 6:06 and my final mile a 5:57.
The race was like a large group run.
Unseasonably warm late November day in the 60s.

Trying hard to catch the 7th place guy (in red) just before, but
couldn't quite make it happen.
(The guy in blue shirt is one lap behind.)

Came close to overtaking one more on the final track section, but had nothing left.  I had aspirations of going sub-18 today, but another 18:0x day with a 18:05-ish finish (can't find results) and 8th place.

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