Thursday, March 6, 2014

Howl at the Sun 5K Race Report

My son's middle school hosted a 5K race as a general fundraiser for the school.  They really wanted as many people to participate for obvious reasons.  So my wife and son and I all signed up.  My goal for this race was pretty simple: Crush the dreams of all those punk little middle schoolers and their overambitious fathers.

Up until this year, I hadn't raced an open 5K since November of 2010.  Now this was my second one this year.  They had a pretty good crowd, as there were over 360 people signed up.  The weather was threatening to be really crappy: 35 and raining.  Luckily the rain was over before the relatively late (9 am) start time.

The Crew before the Race
So I tried my best to be "that guy".  Or maybe it was "that tri geek".  I wore a Rev3 visor because it might possibly rain.  I wore my race number on my new Fuel Belt race belt.  And of course, I had my Garmin.  I did see another guy with compression socks on, so at least I wasn't doing that.  The race belt worked great, as I didn't even know I had it on.  It has places to store gels, but you don't need that for a 5K (not to sound condescending or anything).

Lime Green Race Belt. Expect Nothing Less.

The course was simple enough. Out around the school and then out and back the new bypass road (that has yet to open).  The only down side was that the start for 300+ was on a one lane road with a 90 degree turn about 20 yards in.  Not designed by a runner, I can tell you that.  But what do you want for a middle school fundraiser?
Went out on the left of the loop and finished on the right
Kids Sprint at the Start
  I started a little ways back and was able to sift my way up to clear pavement around about a 1/4 mile in, so it really wasn't too congested.  About a 1/2 mile in you could see who the real players were going to be.  There was a really old looking guy with a good 30 yard lead.  (Turns out he is 51). Then, there were 3 more guys in the chase group.  I took it easy up that first hill and then quickly settled in behind the chase group.

 I hit the first mile in 5:57 and didn't feel too bad.  Then we started the long slow climb.  I worked my way away from the chase group on the way up to the turnaround.  I was very very slowly chipping away at the old guy's lead.  I wasn't catching him as fast as I had hoped and he was still 10 yards ahead of me at the turnaround.

Once we made the 180 turn and started heading back, it was obviously downhill for a while.  The hill definitely took something out of him. I hit the second (mostly uphill) mile in 5:59 so I felt good about that.  I closed the last 10 yards on him pretty quickly.  When I came up beside him, I threw a little surge in to try and gap him right away.  He didn't have the leg speed to keep with me as we came back down the hill.  I didn't feet great on that last uphill, but had plenty in the tank to crank the last 1/4 mile or so.  I gave a couple of look backs on the last couple of turns, but he wasn't gaining.  I just pushed for the finish and came away with another win.
Big Finish.  Almost caught the lead bike.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Garmin had the course a little short at 3.03 miles.  That pace however would equate to an 18:12 for a full 5K, so I was pretty happy with that.  My official time was announced as 17:51 as they used 'gun time' instead of 'chip time'.  The spoils of the win were a free massage, $10 at Omega Sports and $50 at the Fish Market restaurant.  Not bad for a race that cost $16.82 to sign up for.

Free Stuff!
Official results are NO WHERE.  Go Green Events was responsible for the timing and their computer crashed, so there is no results page.  They did go 'old school' and figure out who all the age group winners were (no 2nd and 3rd place prizes here).  Also because it was run by the school, the age groups were: 0-10, 11, 12, 13, 14-17 (I think), 18-39, and 40+.

If you can't say something nice . . . 
I was extremely sore on Sunday.  It probably didn't help that I played basketball Saturday afternoon and then went for a bike ride.  Or that I ran 10 miles Sunday morning and then went for a bike ride in the afternoon.  On the upside, I swam 4,000 yards Monday morning and felt pretty good.  Was that too much information or a back door brag?  You be the judge.  Anyways, just a few weeks before the Come See Me Half on April 5th!