Rise and shine runners, we are gonna sneak in a little 5k this morning to see where our fitness level is going into the spring race season.
This is the 4th year they have held this race and the start is 1/2 a mile from my house. Cheap entry fee and a small field mixed between the 5 and 10k made this race very appealing to me.
I woke up and weather.com told me it was a chilly 32 degrees outside, the 5 minute dog walk confimred that indeed it was cold outside! Quick run down of available running clothes left me with the decision of tights, long sleeve under armour, gloves and skully for today's race.
I ate a quick Clif Bar and hopped on my bike to ride to the start and get a warm up jog. As I looked around I noticed most of the guys that win my age bracket were wearing 10k numbers. SAHWEET, maybe I can place in my age group...a win is a win.
After doing a few strides I headed over to the start.
The 5 & 10k course is pretty much the same, we go out around the park and down Bull st. The 10k'ers are to turn left onto Washington Ave. and head to Daffin Park, while the 5ker's turn around and come back. Easy enough.
Listened to a few announcements and we were off!
The pack quickly thinned out and I watched the fast snails disappear down the road. Within in the first 400 meters I was into a comfortable stride and had planned on settling into a comfortable(mostly) 8 minute pace.
I hit the first mile marker at 7:58. I was pretty happy with this and my goal was gonna be to drop about 5 seconds off of that pace in the 2nd mile.
"The lead 5k'ers should be coming back soon, I wonder how far back I am...I can see the turn... why is it that nobody is coming back?"
EVERYBODY is turning left.
I get to Washington Ave. and the water ladies are telling us to keep going.
"Hmmm, that's wierd, Garmmy is telling me we are at 1.75 miles. I should be going back by now?!?!1!"
I can see the 2 mile marker for the 10k in the near distance. There are two cops holding traffic at the next intersection. There is a 5k'er 100 yards in front of me who is equally concerned. I hear him ask the cop where is the turn around for the 5k. He says, "keep going down the road it is up ahead." The other cop, pointing in the opposite direction says, "No man, the turn around was way back there!" FML!
I mutter a few choice words under my breath and hang a hard U turn at the intersection and hear the foot steps of my equally confused and slighty distraught 5k friend. I glance at my Garmmy and see that I have covered almost 2 miles...Simple math says it will take longer than 1.1 miles to get back.
As he pulls up beside me I ask, "How much further do you think we went than the actual turn around?" After thinking about it for a moment he responds, "Too far!"
We are back on Bull st. heading to the park and I see on the road marked in white tape, "5K TURN"...AND there is nobody standing there....
Then I hear from the runners on the other side of the road that are still heading out, "Good job, you are in 2nd and 3rd place!"
as I watch my running companion pull away I think to myself, "I am in 3rd place...I can hold onto this for another mile..."
As my Garmmy beeps to mark mile 3, I look and see 24:20 on the display. LOL, there goes my chance of breaking 25 minutes today.
I run this route enough to know I have about 1/2 mile left. I hear the faint sound of a runner behind me.
Don't look back, just keep pushing forward.
Into the park, 1/4 mile to go... Relax and Move
As I go around the fountain, I take this chance to look back and see I have a 100 yards on the next guy. I have this!
Push through the finish, don't let up!
8:02 average pace
3rd Place Overall!
Talking to the two guys that finished ahead we all agree that something went wrong big time....During the award ceremony the MC took credit for the failure stating he was supposed to be the guy at the turn around but he was dropping of other volunteers further along in the course and didn't make it back in time...
I know for a fact several much faster 5k runners just continued on and completed the enitre 10k course.
A win is a win, right?
The award was a "Savannah Gray" Brick with a plaque on it. Fitting seeing as how this race was for the Historic Savannah Foundation.
Afterwards, I ran into several old college friends, Tom & Trang Black. We caught up on old times and talked about future runs. All in all it was a great morning...
One foot in front of the other, one step at a time!