Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Riverwalk Run 5K Recap

What can I say, this is one of my favorite races.  It is my inaugural race.  3 years ago I ran my first race ever at this event.  I posted a time of 28:28 that day and thought there was no way I was ever gonna get fast enough to compete in my age group.  Boy how some training and running can change things.

Last year I posted a time good enough for 2nd pace in my AG.  I wasn't sure how I would do this year.  You all know I have had some issues regarding my recent races and my times.  However, over the past couple of races my times have started to come around.  I know, I know, you all keep telling me it's the summer heat and just like every year, you are right.  When the temps start getting cooler, the times start getting better.

This race was awesome.  It actually didn't start off that way though.  After I got there and got my race packet, I was getting ready for my warm up mile and when I put my Garmin on, the dang thing would not power on.  Needless to say I was torqued.  I have come to 'need' my Garmin.  Anyway, I headed out on my warm up and made my way to the start.  This race usually has a good turn out and this year was no exception.

I had told myself that I was going to push the pace a bit on this race and see if I could break the 25 minute time I had set the last couple of races.  Without my Garmin, I wasn't sure how I was going to watch my pace.  I figured I just 'feel' my way along.

One thing I did make sure of this time was to get closer to the front of the pack.  If you remember, at my last race I was hindered by a bunch of young kids at the start.  There are a couple of hills on this race and one steady uphill in the first mile.  I looked at the runners around me and was able to keep a pretty fast and steady pace.  I could tell I was pushing it, yet I wasn't over-pushing it if you know what I mean.

Sprinting to the finish!
At around the one mile point, I could feel this person coming up behind me.  As they came up on my left, I noticed it was this young lady.  She was pretty fit and pushing a good pace.  It was as this point that I decided to go for it.  I picked up the pace just enough to stay right with her.  For the next mile and a quarter we ran pretty much side by side.   At just over two miles, she started to pull ahead of me.  I knew I was getting tired and we still had a mile to go, so I keep my pace nice and steady and kept her in my sights the rest of the way.  At the half mile mark there is a steady uphill climb.  I pushed hard to get up that and then when I made the final turn at .2 of a mile, I sprinted to the finish.   When I saw the clock was under 24 minutes, I ran as hard as I could, but there just wasn't enough time left.  I finished at 24:10.  You can see the determination in my face in this picture.

As I said, this was a great race.  My time was good enough for 2nd place in my age group for a second year in a row.  Ya me!  LOL

2nd Place AG
Oh and I did find that young lady and thank her for helping me finish with a great time. Her efforts paid off for her as well as she also won an award.

The race was a success for the local parks as well as I just read they raised over $18,000!  I can't wait to do this race again in the many years to come.

As always, remember, "Real athletes run, others just play games!"

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