I did alright in this race. I ran it last year and did ok, but it was really hot then. I ran this race about 40 seconds faster in “cooler” weather. I say cooler cause earlier in the week we had morning temps in the 60’s. It was a heavenly break from the 104 we had the week before. I was hoping for those same temps at this race. It didn’t hold. It was still cooler than normal, but at the race start is was in the upper 70’s and very very humid. In fact, after my warm up run and drills I got in line for the race and saw some friends who asked if I had just poured water on myself. No, it was sweat. Uh oh, they said. But like I said, it was still cooler than normal, so the heat wasn’t as much of a factor.
I forced my way to close to to the starting line for the gun. That helped me avoid some of the typical clogs of slower runners, walkers, etc. who usually congest the start of a race. That said, there were tons of youngins in this race. Lots of cross country teams ranging from children to high school. I got boxed in the first half mile behind some kiddos. But no matter, I was able to hit my stride as the race thinned as the people who made the mistake of going out too fast quickly faded.
The race took us through a neighborhood. I was able to pick other runners off one at a time. I’d just pick someone up ahead and keep going till I caught them and eventually passed them. That helped me keep my pace. A few hundred yards from the finish I passed my final runner – a poor guy pushing a jogging stroller…up a hill. I felt for him, but didn’t want to lose to a guy pushing a stroller…up a hill. I kicked it in and finished at 21:51. Basically my current PR. Sure, back in the day I could run 18-19 minute 5k’s, but that was a while back. Maybe I’ll get back there some day. I’m certainly getting closer rather than further.
My 7:03 per mile pace felt good. I was never out of breath, never felt like I was over doing it. Sure, at the end my legs were burning a little, but nothing too bad. It was good enough for 39th out of about 700 runners. I came in 5th in my age group. I hate my age group. Why is my age group so competitive? My buddy, in the same AG, finished with a PR in the mid 19’s…..he got 3rd in our group.
And can I just say, like I’ve said before, that last .1 of the 3.1 mile race is a punk. You look at your finishing pace and think your finishing time should be 21:09, but no, that .1 added 43 seconds to the overall time. Stupid metric system.
Anyway, it was a fun 4th of July race. Saw LOTS of my running friends – many of whom won medals. They once again had free beerskis after the race so we took advantage of that and sat on the North Texas version of a beach and chilled for a hot minute. Good times.