(Pardon the Garmin data. I needed an image to accompany this, and the Garmin data thing has kind of become a trend, although I typically reserve it for more exciting races. Oh, and I’m not sure what that spike at 2.25 is; I don’t recall anything affecting my pace all that much).
It seems a bit odd to throw together a race report, a distance I rarely race these days, but here goes.
At one point, of course, the 5k was everything. High school cross country meant a series of about 10 races over the course of two-and-a-half months, and even when it wasn’t XC season most physical efforts were done in preparation for throwing down when the next September or October rolled around.
As a result of those days, I still have a lot of respect for the 5k, and I still have a desire to beat my PR of 16:35, as that which mean I could finally vanquish and claim superiority over my high school self.
Today’s Yorktown Freedom Run didn’t result in that moment, but I’m quite pleased with how it went nonetheless.
It was the first 5k I’ve raced since October 2009, when I ran the UNH Homecoming 5k. That race resulted in a time of 18:11, and today’s effort, on a slightly harder course (it was about 2/3 trail, 1/3 pavement), netted a finish time of 17:17. That was good enough for third overall (okay, technically I was the fourth guy to cross the finish line, but the guy in front of me was over 40, which means he was listed as top master and I received third overall), which resulted in a check of $25.
I’ll keep the race summary short. I started out fast, sharing the lead with some high school kid for about the first 3/4 mile. At that point, we were passed fairly decisively by a group of three. I went through the first mile in 5:12 (which is probably one of the faster race miles of my life), and then slowed over the next two- nothing catastrophic, just a gradual decline. Hit the two mile mark in 10:58.
From the mile mark on, I basically ran in fourth the whole time, as I put a little distance on the high school kid and kept 10-15 seconds behind the guy in third (doesn’t sound like much, but it is). The two who received first and second overall surged ahead and finished around 16:10. The guy in third did 17:10.
I spent most of the race marveling at how I was going to be done in less than 20 minutes. Marathons and ultras have gotten me conditioned to mentally preparing for multiple hour efforts. It was a nice change.
Anyway, I was quite pleased with the 17:17. We’ll see what the work schedule is this summer; if I can manage to find some local races to jump into, I’d love to attempt to make a little more headway on it.
Complete race results here.