My 4th time for this 5K on this wonderful trail through old growth forest. Nice to have Jody join me for this run through the woods. 23 runners is about double who came last year and also double the number at the first event in the series. The guy who won the first race in the series is not here, putting me in the top spot to win the series and get a free pair of shoes. Martinho came in just behind me at Pioneer park and he is here today, so I can not let up. Feeling good after the marathon of six days ago. Nice two mile warm up. It is cold but not windy or wet. Some mud on the trail but not bad at all.
Start - After the usual long course description by Rich we finally get going. I purposely start towards the back. There is a group from Shelton here and two cross country runners from Adna. Across the bumpy field and onto the trail. I get moving well, but not quite as fast as I often do at these short races. Pass a couple of people including Martinho. Short out and back and I get to see the fast runners. Then I turn around and get to see Jody.
Mile 1 - Turn onto a muddier trail with lots of curves, and bumps to watch for. Stalk and then pass Heather. I pass her and another person where the trail is still wide, but now we are approaching the narrow section where it would be very difficult to pass. I can ease up just a little bit here and then make the turn back onto the field completing the first loop.
Mile 2 - Back down the road, then the trail. I can hear breathing behind me. I am afraid that it is either Bill or Martinho, the only two runners in this race that I would prefer to beat. Don't look back. Try some surges on the muddy trail, feel like I should be breaking away but I just can not leave them behind. Quick peek back at a turn but I can not tell who it is. Now at the narrow part. I must trust my kick and hope that when the path opens up, and then the field, I will be able to out sprint him, whoever it is. I make the turn down the road and let it fly as best I can. Still ahead of him.
Mile 3 - Now turn for the short bit on the field and immediately Martinho and Wade leave me in the dust. Disappointing but also amazed at both of their finishing kicks.
Mile 3.1 - 3.08 on the GPS. Finish as best I can. Happy with my time, eleven seconds faster than last year. I learn that the series is based on cumulative time. I beat Martinho by 43 seconds in the first race (because he took a wrong turn) and he beat me by about 7 seconds today (have to verify that when results are published. That gives me about a 36 second lead for race number 3. December 10th, back at Pioneer Park. In the meantime I plan to run the Seattle Marathon on November 27.
10th of 23
Race #255, 5K #66