The organizers expected about 30 participants. They got more like 100! Due to the expected small turn out, they only had awards for the top 3 male and female finishers. According to the race director, they just didn't think enough people would show up. There were pleasantly surprised. I was told that they would definitely have age group awards next year.
When I run in a smaller race like this, I have an easier time judging who my competition is. That wasn't the case with this race. Knowing that I wasn't competing against anyone made it harder to concentrate. I am very competitive! I have to be honest, I even had thoughts of skipping the race. I know right? What the hell was I thinking? Anyway, the smarter me talked me out of that stupid idea.
The race director must have told us at least 5 times that it was a good route and that we would enjoy it. Well, I don't know about enjoying it. We started on the school track and then headed out the gate to the street. Within 3 minutes, we were faced with a pretty big uphill. That lasted til about the first half mile. We had a small downhill and then right back to another uphill. That finished the first mile. The next couple miles was winding in out and out of neighborhoods and then a run through the local cemetery. The final 3/4 mile had it's own character. There was a long steady uphill and then the route finished by going into the parking lot. That meat going up a very steep hill and continuing to the track. There you had a small downhill side walk and onto the track itself to the finish line.
The hills really slowed me down. I had a hard time keeping my pace under 8 minutes per mile. I have to admit though, I really enjoyed the finish on the track. I never ran track in school and I took the opportunity to sprint my way to the finish line. I stopped my Garmin at 24:07. Not bad considering my lack of motivation at the start and the hills.
While I was feeling pretty good about my time, I again looked at my Garmin. That's when I noticed the distance. The route was .1 mile short. Add that into the equation and the time wasn't very good at all. In fact, it came out to over an 8 min/mile pace. Definitely not my best time for a 5K. Like I said though, the hills were pretty tough. Something I'll have to work on next time. Yes, they'll be a next time! I'll definitely do the race again. Of course, they'll have to fix the course and add age group placements.
Oh and I was able to run with one of my teachers from school. Katie Huggins, one of our art teachers, knew the one of the organizers. Here is a picture of Katie and I just after she finished.
|Katie and I|
As always, remember "Real athletes run, all others just play games!"