|Don't fail me now...|
The race wasn't chip timed so my normal thought of getting to the back and making my through the pack as a way to force myself to not burn out in the first mile was shot. Best thing for me to do now was get near the front and work to hang onto the leaders at the start. The gun goes and we're off. Why oh why do slow people feel the need to stand at the front of the pack during a race?! The first quarter mile was spent weaving around and through slower runners to get up to the front. Yes, I know I could get on the start line and lean forward with the fast guys...but that's normally reserved for the 5 minute milers and I know better than to be "that guy" (the fat guy standing up with the gazelles) on the start line so I seed myself a couple rows back.
Once I got to the front there were 15 or 20 of us. I know at the half mile mark there's a right hand turn up a hill and I wanted to be in a good enough position to lean in and attack the hill. The hill came...and so did the wind! It was blowing hard enough that it actually stopped my forward progression. Why can I NEVER get that kind of wind at my back during a race?!?! The only thing to do was dig in and focus on catching the guy in front of me.
|Best shirt ever!|
I could see the finish clock and I was under 20 minutes. Run Forest...run! I crossed the line in 20:08. Not what I wanted at all. I ran the 3 mile opening leg of last weekend's duathlon in 18:30 so I thought for sure this race would be in the low 19's. I took solace in the fact that the winner ran it in 17:20, where normally a 5k win time would be in the high 14's or low 15's. I guess the wind and hills really did effect everyone else too. I ended up taking 9th overall and 4th in my age group. No podium but a solid effort throughout the race and I took 2:17 off my PR for that course. I seem to be making gains in my runs and feel as if I'm "racing into shape" turning in better times early in the season compared to the last couple years. Lets see how all this adds up for my Syracuse 70.3 in a few shorts weeks...