I warmed up w/ Matt Garfield over the course before the race and was pretty surprised at how hilly the course actually is. It starts off downhill for a bit before turning sharp to the right and eventually climbing for what seems to be a half mile or so. Then the course turns right again and then eventually goes right down a small cul-de-sac and around a cone before heading back out and then down to the school again. The start and finish are downhill and the middle is just a pretty hard climb (for a 5k anyways). The strong headwind on the way up didn't help either. I figured I'd be looking at around 16:30-16:35 for some reason. I was pretty much right on but surprisingly, the course was longer than expected. I talked to Fergus Cullen (race director-extraordinaire) after the race about it. I also talked to some others who said the course was slightly different this year and it's been slightly different possibly over the last few years. The climb is always in the race, but the rest of it shifts a little bit from year to year.
As the race went off, I actually got into an inadvertent mix up with the eventual 3rd place runner as we jockeyed for position. It was kind of funny...felt like an indoor track or xc race start with some elbows, etc. I eventually got clear and headed down the hill at a pretty decent clip but felt under control. Matt settled in behind me and I hit the turn onto the eventual climb with a decent pad on 2nd place. I started climbing up and made it to the top of the first climb and the 1 mile mark in 4:59. I was actually pretty shocked that I broke 5 for that mile considering the climb. However considering the nature of the first downhill, it evened out.
The second mile was TOUGH for a 5k. It started with half of it being up another steep pitch with a nice headwind. I eventually turned and headed down to the out and back on the cul-de-sac. You have to basically come to almost a stop as you go around 3 cones at the end of the road. As I turned and headed up a small little hill out of the cul-de-sac, Matt was pretty close behind. The third place runner was also on that small road as I was heading back. I knew at that point either I was running slower than I thought or they were running pretty well. I think it was a combination of both. I clipped through the 2nd mile split in a pretty good 5:19. I was pretty amazed I was that fast on that mile with the climbing.
The third mile has got some slight climb, flat, then downhill slightly to the finish. I hit the 3 mile split on my Garmin in 5:02 for 15:20/15:21 though 3 miles. It then took me 1:17 for the last ".1"! I usually run 35ish for that last bit of a 5k on a normal course. I was amazed at how long that last stretch was. Instead of running right around 16 minutes (which I thought during mile 3, was going to be the case), I came through in 16:37...right around what I thought before the race started. I had 3.29 on my Garmin. So it was definitely a good 30-35 seconds long I am going to say (if a normal 5k is supposed to be a little over 3.1 anyways).
So all in all I am pretty happy with the effort. I ran stronger in that middle mile than I thought I would and decent on the other two miles. That last 5:02 is good for the nature of the beginning of that split and the fact that there was quite a lot of climbing earlier in the race. I also got the win by just over a minute to Matt's 17:39 so I'll take it for sure. It was a great time and really nice to once again run well in front of my parents who also went to see the race as they were going to be in town anyways.
After the race, the girls and I headed over to York's Wild Kingdom for a zoo visit. It was a little hot out but it was a good time for a little while before Tabby started to get cranky. She had a great time at the race though.
|Future Horne St. School 5k women's winner?|
|Me and the Mrs.|
|Tabby cheering on dada|
|Talking shop w/ RD Fergus Cullen|
|The girls... (Morgan getting a little help from Mama behind the scenes)|