At the last minute, I decided to go ahead and run the Chesapeake Bay 10K instead of doing a 14 mile run...I can still get the 14 in on Monday, do a short 6-7 mile tempo run Wednesday and an easy 6-7 mile run on Friday before the Frederick marathon on Sunday...besides, I wanted to see what I could do on a 10K since my last and first 10K was last November when the time was 44:29. My main goal was to PR with my ultimate goal to break 40 minutes. I woke up early as usual with a shower and breakfast and read the paper till about 6:30 and headed for the race.
The race takes place on the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk. You have the beaches on one side with some parks, restaurants and houses and on the other side, businesses and houses...so somewhat scenic...as long as you look toward the beach! The temperature was about 64 F but the humidity was probably around 95...we had some heavy rain the night before and it was still misty at times with the sun peeking in and out. The course was an out and back for about five miles and then a smaller out and back the other way finishing in a park on the beach.
There were long lines to get race numbers, t-shirts and timing chips for the people that were pre-registered, but the line to register was...well there was no lines...just a couple of us filling out the paperwork, paying and getting our numbers and chips. I put my chip and number on and then hung out at my favorite place at races...the port-a-lets! There were beach restrooms but for some reason they were being cleaned...go figure! After, I ran easy for about five minutes for my warm up and then back to the restrooms... this time they were done cleaning them...and then headed to the start line getting near the front about 5-10 yards away...there were only about 400 runners but we were all trying to crowd into a single lane of a four lane road...the single lane was all they could block off for the race because there was other road work being done.
The starting gun sounded exactly at 8:00 and we were off on the first out and back. I remembered to properly start my watch this time and made sure by watching the seconds start up. The first couple of miles I stayed with a pack of runners that were going at what I thought was about a 6:30 pace but the first mile clock showed us going through at 6:15 and then we settled into a slower pace and went through the second mile in about 12:45. We went through the first turn around and hit the 5K timing mat in 20:21. Meanwhile the pack I was with started to lose runners...either faster or slower... and eventually I was running alone. Since there were electronic timers on the course almost every 2 miles, I didn't bother...or forgot to set each one mile lap times...I wish I had, to be able to check the performance at every mile would have been helpful in plotting my next 10K in May. We passed back over the start line and continued on to our next out and back the opposite way...we could see the finish line to our left as we went out and I tried to see what the time read but couldn't see it clearly. We did our final turn around and headed for the finish line. Looking at my watch, I knew the under 40 minute mark was out of reach but tried to up the pace. The last .2 I could see the finish line and tried to sprint as the seconds on the clock slowly ticked away. I crossed the finish line as the clock showed 42:01, disappointed not only in not breaking 40 minutes but also going over 42...and...later I find out the guy who came in first in my age group was from Albuquerque NM!...why did he come all the way over here to run this small race!. But...I was happy in knowing that I had PR'd from my previous by over 2 minutes. As I was talking with some runners and eating...running always makes me hungry...there was an announcement that the first set of times were posted, so we start wandering over to the time sheets where there were already long lines. I finally get to the sheets and look for my name...Overall Place 33...Gun Time: 42:01:80...Chip time 41:58:55...Age place 2...I hadn't even thought my chip time would be that much different from my gun time since I started not too far from the front. I did the happy dance!
There were 16 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 362 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 33
Age group finish place was 2
Gender finish place was 30
Time: 41:58.55 for an overall pace of 6:46 per mile
1st 5K time was 20:21.35 for a pace of 6:37 per mile
2nd 5K time was 21:37.20 for a pace of 6:58 per mile