Crime Stoppers Race Against Crime 5K and 10K is a first annual event. However this race is at the same location and with the same timing company as the Turn Back the Clock race last year. I liked that course out of the Lacey Rainier Vista Park and am looking forward to running it again. I was not sure if I would be able to race today so I did not sign up in advance. Registration was very smooth, I did get a T-shirt and a cloth bag with lost of swag. Note a very minor course change from last year. The little out and back for the 10K only is now closer to the finish. Maps of the course are available and it promises to be well marked, staffed with volunteers and accurate in distance. Its cloudy and cool for August.
Start - After watching a K-9 demonstration and doing a mile warm up, I line up toe to the start line. Small group for the 10k and we will start ten minutes before the larger 5K group. I do not recognize anyone in my race and just three people who will do the 5K. Too bad, this really is a quality event. We start right on time and a big group of about ten go zooming off. I know that is too fast for me I can only hope to reel some of them in later. I try to keep within my own pace and not go too fast, but a quick look at the watch says that I really should slow down a bit.
Mile 2 - Now on the paved Chehalis Western trail. When we got to the trail it was clearly marked that 10K goes left and 5K goes right. There was also a volunteer to tell us that too. But in front of me I see a young guy turn off onto the 5K course. If he was closer I would have yelled something. Maybe he started with the 10K group by mistake. I hope that he does not mess up the results. I can see the lead woman a ways ahead and I have just caught up to the second place woman. I encourage her to keep number one in sight and I move ahead some. Great flat course. Feeling good with no aches or pains. Just running faster than I am capable of sustaining for any long period of time.
Mile 3 - Off the trail. Aid station. One guy about 30 feet in front of me (he passed me a while back) and now a woman with a large pit bull type dog is trying to cross the route directly in front of me. The dog does not want to move and she is just standing in my way. I yell "look out" as I dodge the dog but I wanted to yell "are you blind?" She seemed oblivious the the race and aid station. I decide that I will get a drink on the way back. Lollipop course around the school. Back to the aid station and lots of runners coming toward me. I take an offered cup. Funny it is a MacDonald's paper cup. Then I drink. MacDonald's orange "drink". Whatever is in that I don't know but I don't think I care for it.
Mile 4 - Managed to catch up to and pass the lead woman. All I could do was grunt. This is really hard. My overall pace is slipping but I am still working at it. Someone remind me that I hate 10Ks. I am working about as hard as a 5K except that would be over by now. I am also having trouble concentrating on my form. My mind keeps wandering to both running and non running things. That is fine in a marathon where I could never focus on form for the whole race, but here, in order to maintain pace, I need to keep thinking about it. Frustrating and although my overall pace has not slowed much, I know that I am slowing and speeding up more that I should.
Mile 5 - We have merged with the 5K runners and walkers, now heading back to the park. Have to take that short out and back on a side street, so then I have to pass all the same people again. Finally near the finish. Turn on what little kick I have left. Hear footsteps fast approaching and I speed up even more. Tall guy kicks it in faster than me and beats me by a second. Nothing I could have done to beat him, I really gave it my all at the end. And I am very happy to duck in under 46 minutes. Fastest 10K since 2008.
Finish - Jog a mile, then see that results are already posted and that I made 3rd in my age group (40-49 ten year intervals). Awards ceremony starts promptly as the last runner comes in. Nice stainless steel water bottles and ribbons for the 5K age divisions. 10K winners get a large coffee mug. I don't need more stuff but it is always nice to get some kind of recognition I guess. Except that after they call the top two, they move on to the next age group. Then I realize that they never did call 3rd place in any group, awards only to the top two in each division. Makes sense for such a small race, I wish I had noticed that earlier though. Excellent raffles, though I did not win anything. Everything about this race was good. Accurate, scenic, well marked course with traffic control, mile markers and plenty of volunteers. No hassle registration with knowledgeable volunteers, not pricey, great parking and bathrooms, perfect running weather, cool swag. Yet another must run again event!!
45:58 9th of 65
10K # 27