I started the morning by running up to the start of the race at Calvin College. It is a little over 2 miles away, so I figured that I could just turn it into a long run. When I got to Calvin, I had to get my number and shirt. It was a zoo there to say the least. There was no pre-race day pickup, so all 800+ runners were getting their stuff. After getting my shirt and number, I realized that I didn’t have anything to do with my shirt while I ran so I ended up tucking it on a shelf to pick up later. Thankfully, no one helped themselves to it while I ran.
Because of the long line of people getting their numbers, the race start was delayed a few minutes so that everyone could get lined up. I lined up pretty close to the front of the pack and talked to a couple of the people around and figured that I was in the right place because we were all hoping to finish around the same time.
I felt awesome for the first mile. I passed a few people right out of the gate. Mainly people (including some kids who couldn’t have been older than 10) who lined up WAY ahead of their ability. Before I knew it, there was a guy calling out mile splits. I passed the first mile at 6:28. I was very happy to hear that.
The second mile was a bit tougher because it had a couple of uphills. I felt like I was slowing down, but I kept passing people so I figured I was doing alright. After the first mile, I was hoping to hit the second mile around 13 minutes. I heard my time called at under 13 minutes and figured that I was going to PR for sure.
At the end of mile 2, I got passed by KP – the #1 girl from my high school XC team. I did my best to keep up with her and traded places with her a couple times on the last mile, but she out kicked me in the final stretch. I was feeling a bit better on this mile. I think this was more so due to the fact that I knew the race was almost over than anything. It was also the flattest stretch of the course.
I finished in 19 minutes flat. My current PR for the 5k was 20:35. So a 1:35 PR right??? Not quite, unfortunately. After the race, I looked down at my watch and found that the course was short – only 2.93 miles. It is pretty ridiculous that the course was short because the last stretch was an out and back that they could have easily lengthened or shortened as needed. After looking at my splits and knowing how I finished, I know that I still would have had a PR if it had been the full 3.1 miles. Whether or not I would have gotten under 20 minutes though would have been close.
So, for the time being, I am leaving my 5k PR at 20:35. I’d rather break it officially than on a short course. Besides, it would take me forever to re-break a 19:00 PR in a full 5k.
After the race, I jogged back home to round out the morning with 7+ miles of exercise. Then it was off to the in-laws for Thanksgiving.
Overall, it was a great race. Fairly well organized (except for no pre-race packet pickup). The fact that the race is so close to home just makes it all the better. Also, because of the smallish size to the race, it wasn’t too crowded and spread out fairly quickly. I also saw lots of familiar faces; some from high school, others from previous races.
|Age Group Place:||8/42|
*Pace is from the official results page, which must be based on a full 5k course