Elma WA. 6th annual event and my 4th time here. Twice I have done the 5K, this will be my second year in a row for the 10K
Beanie instead of a shirt is a welcome change. $30 pre registered with proceeds to the church's food bank. Course has some minor changes and sounds a little confusing, but I am not worried.
A little rain on the way over, but it is dry now. Cool but not too bad. A half mile into my warm up and I am back at the car to put on a jacket and gloves. But after another mile, I decided to race without them, and not wear a hat either. Shorts and two long sleeve shirts will be fine.
It is the Run for Faith, so we gather at the start and have a short prayer. Barb gives us directions and our little group sets out.
Start - 5K and 10K together on the open road and sidewalk, but I positioned well and there is no passing or being passed. I try not to go out too fast, but I did warm up well and am moving along.
Mile 0.5 - Pass one guy. Now the sketchy bit behind the school and through a narrow gate. Right on Third and over Highway 12.
Mile 1.5 - Just behind Mike Henderson, but like last weekend he is doing the shorter race, so he reaches the turn around and waves goodbye. Two runners ahead of me. I saw Loren at the start so I knew that I would not win today. That took the pressure off, wondering who would show up at this little race. Now I wonder if there are any runners behind me. What if everyone else is doing the 5K? At the right turn I look back and do not see anyone, so I am either in last place, or comfortably in 3rd.
Mile 2.0 - Long straight flat part. Keep losing my focus. Thinking about work, its been so busy. Bring my mind back to running form and I go faster. Orange shirted Steve is a ways ahead of me, but when I put on a burst, I am catching up a little. I can't not handle the speed for long and have to ease off.
Mile 2.7 - Right turn into the "airport". Quick turn around, staffed by volunteers. Back to the main road, then a volunteer points me to a trail for a short out and back. I am happy to see three runners well behind me. Later I will see one guy walking. So I am right in the middle. Rough narrow trail along the lake. I stop for a second to let Steve pass by coming towards me, ahead of me. Then I reach the turnaround and keep following him.
Mile 3.2 - Back on the road, now another diversion, around the little lake. Paved trail this time, but we have to go up a giant curb and over some grass the get there. Volunteer points the way. Smooth running around the lake but my average pace has slowed to just over 8/mile. I wanted to be sub 8/mile and under 50 minutes. Last year I ran this (slightly easier course) in 47 something. I know I will be slower today, just like I was last week. But I feel better than last week. I am able to pick up the pace for a bit.
Mile 4.5 - Quick water stop at the aid station. Then over the bridge and into town. Left turn. Watch for traffic. Behind the school now. Gaining on Steve but he is too far away. Look back on the up hill turn but don't see anyone. Cruise into the finish with a pretty good kick.
Finish - 6.16 on the GPS. Slower than last year but I'll take it. 7:53/mile so a good even/negative split.
Now inside for the raffles. So many prizes and so few runners, that we each get to pick three items from the table. Barb has results together quickly and I get a ribbon for winning my age group. Really happy to take home a pie and honey.
That is it for "fast" running for a while. I have a couple of epic adventures planned, both urban and wild, in the coming weeks. Still enjoying the races and happy to be injury free.
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