5th time here, the race that is closest to home. 10th annual event and it has really grown. But the price is right and everything is well organized. $25 pre registration includes a T-shirt, string back pack full of mostly dog related items (will give to Saki) finishers medal, and chip timing. Lots of corporate sponsors so the race remains cheap, but raises a lot of money for the humane society. Picked up my swag yesterday. Left the house after 8AM today, in no hurry, with plenty of time for a long warm up before the 9AM start.
Start - Warmed up with Martinho. Nice to see Christie, who will run with her dog. Comfortable in short sleeves, it is cooler than it has been, great for running. Most of the dogs are in the back, a few competitive ones near me, so as always I need to be careful with the start. Ten second count down and we are off.
Mile 0.05 - Smooth start but sudden surprise. Instead of the left turn along the parking lot, we all go straight and take a little gravel bit to the paved trail. For an instant I am sure that everyone is going the wrong way and I almost make the turn, but decide to follow the crowd. Left turn on the paved trail, then across the road and continue on. Same distance as every other year, now the course will be the same as I have previously run. Hazard of running the same races year after year and thinking that you know it all, not checking for changes.
Mile 0.5 - Christie has gone past me and looks strong. I am keeping up with one other dog. Brown fir needles all over the trail. The dog is the same color as the trail. My legs feel good. These days I never know which right foot is going to show up. It will not be a problem today.
Mile 1 - 7:20
Mile 2 - On the road and looking forward to looping back to the trail. Been back and forth with a couple of guys. Now a kid that I passed early on has caught me. I encourage him and note that I am slowing a little. Stay with him and we run together. Not as fast as I would like, but everything feels good. I can accelerate, but when I do, my breathing gets ragged and I know that I will not be able to hold it. So I slow down to a more sustainable pace, but continue working hard.
Mile 2.7 - Up that little hill on the trail. Kid still with me. Then he takes off and leaves me way behind. I also start a final push, just not as fast as him.
Mile 3.0 - Almost to the finish, and here comes Martinho. The man with the finishers kick catches me. I go even faster and he stays even. Then I realize that he does not care about beating me, he thought it would be nice to finish together. We do so, but the chip time puts me a few hundredths of a second ahead of him
Finish - 3.07 miles on the GPS. My slowest of five times here, but I feel good about today. If I want to get faster 5Ks I need to race them more, plus the speed training work. Too bad the Fall is going to be full with long races.
Nice post race time, but no raffle wins for me. Lap tops to check results. I get third in my age group (40-49) but they do not have age group awards to give out. Really good 5K option for this time of year.
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