Sunday, April 30, 2017
Sunday, April 30, 2017
My first road 5K of the year 2017, a year which is likely to see as little four from me. It seems just a few years back, many in the WTAC were running frequent road 5Ks, and certainly the same went for me:
The road 5K certainly remains a popular distance, but for me, I find it not as fun or challenging as the endurance required for longer races or the variety and beauty found in trail races. On with the race report:
Warmed up for two miles on the course with marathon training partner Tommy 5K. Since I’ve put zero effort into any 5K training this year, was two weeks off a marathon, and have never broken 18 minutes here, I told him I’d be happy with anything 18:30 or better.
First mile: Started on the front line with eventual winner Tommy 5K. The only other old guy saw around was long-time runner Dave Schaad. Jostling for position at the start were men many years my junior. Two asked my intended pace, and when I said 5:50, they were fine with me starting ahead of them. A third stated he was looking to run 5:30 pace, so I offered to switch and take his 2nd row position, but he declined. The very cool state police shotgun start occurred, and the 5:30 guy ran around and ahead of me. Wish he had taken me up on my offer. By the time we rounded the first corner (1/4 mile), there were about 15 runners ahead of me. Disappointing. Based on my breathing, I felt I was going a few seconds too fast, but held on pretty good to pass at least five runners and come through the first mile in 5:48.
|Start of race. Can you see Tommy and me overtaken by|
runners sprinting out?
(left side, 2nd row)
(pic by Jana)
Middle mile: Between an ever so slight uphill on Boone Street and my natural inclination to run the 2nd mile as my slowest, my pace dropped to low 6s. I still managed to pass two runners in this stretch, and making a mental note that they were both breathing harder than me, made a correct assumption that they would not be coming back for me. Mile 2 split 6:02.
|Along the seawall. Early in Mile 3.|
(pic by Matthew)
Final mile and finish: At the start of the 3rd mile, who do I come up to and pass? The guy who sprinted around me at the start, and was looking to run 5:30 pace. I make my own blunders for sure, but today his is pacing. Heading on Ocean Road back to the finish, I see two more runners ahead of me, but remind myself that I still have a mile to go. In the final miles of a marathon, each mile seems to drag painfully on, but this final mile and indeed entire race just went by so fast. I ended up passing one of the two runners ahead of me, but the second one started and held on to an early kick. Mile 3 was my fastest mile, with a split 5:45.
(Pic by Shara)
Final results: 18:16. 6th overall out of 812. 1st in age group. Full results here.
For a race that I put zero prep work into and had zero expectations, my outcome exceeded my expectations. After a short cool-down with Tommy (even got him onto the trails)!, caught up with fellow WTAC and NRA runners on the deck post-race. A good day. Glad I came and ran.