Aug 21

Race Report: Mitchell’s Run

Or, I did it!!! I finally broke 20 minutes in a 5k!!!

This morning, Jennie and I ran the Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford benefiting Muscular Dystrophy research. This race was actually a “Jennie’s Choice” race.  She found this one after finishing up Reeds Lake back in June .  It also gave me another chance to try and break 20 minutes.

We arrived in Rockford at about 7:30 for the 8:30 start.  At the time, it was still drizzling after raining all night.  We headed over and picked up our number, shirt, and D-tag. It was nice that all you got were the essentials and they didn’t give you a bag of crap as well.  The shirt is actually a pretty good design with the main logo from the website on the front and not too many sponsors on the back.

We headed back to the car where Jennie embarked on a journey to win her award of the day.  That award?  Straightest race number of course!

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It took her long enough, but she eventually got her number pinned on.  Notice how straight and centered it is?  I think that I better get her a race number belt like I have.  It will save us a boat load of time in the future.

After that, we looked for the potties.  We ventured to a park down the White Pine Trail in an attempt to avoid the porta-jons, but unfortunately their bathrooms were still locked.  On the plus side, Jennie got to play on the dinosaur slide!


So, back to the porta-jons we headed.

By this time, the rain had stopped.  While this meant we wouldn’t get soaked, it meant the humidity was going to start to creep up.  It remained overcast and humid for the duration of the run.  Not the ideal race conditions, but you take what you get.

Finally, it was time to line up.  It was nice because they actually had pace signs setup so it was easy to tell where you should line up.  I jumped in the front most corral – the 6 minute mile group – and Jennie jumped into her corral.  As soon as I jumped into my corral, I ran into a group of former Aquinas College XC runners.  I didn’t run XC in college, but I was friends with quite a few of the team members.  One of the guys was the 2-time defending champion for this race (and would go on to 3-peat).  Another recently knocked out a 2:38 marathon at Bayshore earning him 7th overall.  And another just BQ-ed with a sub 3-hour time at Bayshore.  So, as you can probably tell, all out of my league.  Nevertheless, I decided to start as close to them as possible.


The actual start of the race was almost unnoticed.  Just a guy (sans mega-phone) yelling, “Ready, set, go!”  Because of the quiet nature of the start, there was a bit of jostling as the runners realized what had happened.  I took off with as fast of a pace as I could manage.  I kept one of the guys in my sights for the first mile, but the other two disappeared immediately.

They had volunteers at each mile yelling out splits.  My first split came in at 5:25 (6:01 on my watch so they must have not had the mile in the right spot).  Yikes!  Either way, that was smoking fast for me.  After the first mile, I eased back just a bit.  I knew I couldn’t keep up a 6 minute pace.  Shortly after the 1st mile, we looped back and could see the other runners in the pack.  I immediately saw Jennie in the crowd and yelled to her.  She was carrying the camera with her and tried to snap a picture of me.  It came out pretty blurry though – you’ll just have to trust me that it is me.


I hit mile 2 at 12:24 (12:05 according to the volunteer).  At this point, it really sunk in that I had a chance at breaking 20 minutes.  I kicked it into gear again and charged ahead.  The last mile included a long steady incline, but I pushed through it. 

I ended up with a 6:31 last mile and 5:37 final .1 for a final time of 19:38!  WooHoo!!!!  This is a 37 second PR and the first time I have ever gotten under 20 minutes in a 5k!

In the end, I am really glad I went out as fast as I did.  At the time, I was really regretting the speedy start, but after looking back at my splits, it is that first mile that pushed me under the 20 minute mark.

After finishing, I headed back to look for Jennie.  I met up with her with a little over a quarter mile to go.  She was doing great and had a big smile on her face.

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Other than being hot and tired, she was in great spirits.  I told her there was just one more hill and then it was time to start her kick because the finish would be right around the corner.

Jennie kicked it in for a 32 second PR and ended up finishing with a sub-10 minute pace for the first time ever!

After the race we stopped by Robinette’s for some fresh donuts.  They were so fresh that the they melted in our mouths.  This just emphasizes Jennie’s motto, “I run for donuts.”

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And now, the taper begins.  Petoskey Breakwater 2010 is in one week.  I went through and read a couple of race reports from last year (here, here and here).  From what I have read, the bike is going to be the toughest leg (which I assumed).  So, the game plan is to just gut it out and have fun.  It’s not going to be a PR race by any means.  Just a chance to get some more HIM experience under the belt.

I’m sure you have already read this elsewhere, but in case you haven’t, make sure to track Jon and Mandy at IM Timberman 70.3 tomorrow!

Official Results

Total Time: 19:38
Overall Place: 59 / 1346
Gender Place: 53 / 690
Age Group Place: 6 / 36
Run Pace: 6:30 min/mile

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2010/08/21/race-report-mitchells-run


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  1. Jon

    Nice job breaking the 20 min barrier!!! SO happy that you did it. You have been after that beast for awhile now!

    ……so now what? Sub 40 min 10K?

  2. lindsay

    congrats on the sub-20!! i am still hoping to get there one day myself, although i need to break 21 first.

    congrats to jennie also! don’t be jealous of her straight bib number. maybe if you are nice she will help you with yours. :-p

  3. Krista

    Sub-20 is awesome! Congrats on meeting your goal – sounds like you paced it just right!

    Enjoy the taper this week and try not to go stir crazy!

  4. Jeff

    Awesome job to both of you on the PR’s … K that is smoking fast buddy!

    …now I think I really need a donut.

  5. carol

    wow, that is impressive, sub 20! Congrats!!!!!

  6. Megan

    Nice job!! Will I see you at Rev3 Cedar Point? 🙂

  7. Matt Oravec

    Nice runs!!! Man, you both knocked your previous PRs out of the park!

    Feels good to finally get that dreaded 20 barrier behind you 🙂

    Haha, sounds like Jennie and Heather are pretty similar hahah, getting the straightest bib award is a BIG deal around these parts too 🙂 Although, we always crumble our bibs before we pin them, that way they don’t pull as much on the shirt and allow more fluid motion. Just a random pointer thats all.

    I love using 5k’s as speed work days. Great test of your training!

  8. Regina

    Wow! Superhero! Congrats on a sub 20′ 5K! That is awesome. And great job Jennie too on the sub 10′ miles and 32″ PR!!

    No GI issues for you! Lucky bastard!

  9. Kristin

    Congrats! And I want those donuts…

  10. Mandy

    WOW! That is so awesome!! Congrats! And congrats to Jennie too!

    Can I have a donut? Thanks for the awesome comments on FB and my blog after the race! What would I do without my bloggy friends? 🙂

  11. Maria

    Congrats on the double PR day for both of you, what great milestones!

    Screw the donuts, viva la ice cream!!

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