Thought this 5K race would be a nice finish to the 2007 racing season. I had run this one last year as my first 5K when it was run at the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk. Last year the Loco running shoe company had given out a free pair of running shoes to all who registered. This year they moved the run to Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach...no free shoes but a nice Henley style t-shirt. The course ran around the main hill a couple of times with the second going around the second smaller hill and then around the lake and to the finish. The weather was cold and windy with temps in the low 40's...quite a difference of a couple of days ago when the temps were in the 70's and 80's. The weather has been really strange this year.
There were only a little over a hundred people running this race so registration and packet pickup was fast. I warmed up by running up and over the main hill to the start line. This is a gun timed race so I started at the front.
The horn sounds at 9:00 and were off and running. The first 200 yards goes from a paved parking lot road to a gravel rutted path that goes between the two hills...not my favorite running surface but we finally hit the paved road that goes around the main hill passing where the race finishes. Up to this point things just weren't feeling right...my breathing was heavy and I just couldn't find a pace I was comfortable with so I decided to take this as an easy effort run. Just then a group of runners passed me and I decided to join them as we take a right around the big hill. The first mile came in at 6:19, which I thought wasn't right for the effort I had put out and usually I am faster on the first mile. By the time we reached the start line again I had found a good pace and things began to feel good. I leave the small group and started passing people as we go around the second smaller hill and we cross the finish line for the second time. This time around we go left that takes us on a course that will lead us around the lake. I passed a couple of more runners and at the far end we hit mile 2 and it comes in at 12:38...lap time of 6:19, which is the same as the first mile. We continue around the lake and as I look ahead, I can only see three other runners ahead of me and I set my sights on the third place guy who is way off in the distance. I slowly make up some ground as we run around the back part of the lake heading for the finish. We make the final turn to the finish and mile 3 comes in at 17:38...but that can't be right because that gives me a lap time of 5:00 for the last mile and there is no way I could run the third mile in five minutes. But I race on ahead and hit the finish line in 18:14 and think to myself it must have said 19:14. Later talking with others and checking my splits, we suspect that the last mile must have been 3-400 meters short, which was disappointing. I also never caught the third palce runner and missed third place overall by only 15 seconds but I did get first in my age group...of course I did notice that the usual faster runners did not run this race and the final total of finishers only came out to 122.
There were 12 finishers in the Male 50 to 59 age group and 122 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 4 of 122
Age group finish place was 1 of 12
Time of: 18:14
I'm not even considering this as a 5K PR since the distance or timing seemed to be way off. They say that the New Year's Day race...Hair of the Dog 5K...is run on the same course, so hopefully they will get it distanced right.
Happy Holidays to you all!