First day of the new year, why not a first race of the new year! Ran the Hair of the Dog 5K today at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach. This is the second year for this race and it looks to be a fun annual event. The race has different running catagories like Formal Wear and Weight Division as well as the normal run and walk. So it was fun to see people running/walking in sleep wear as well as New Year's party dresses and tuxedos...and of course then there was all of us party poopers...or rather...serious runners...in our various forms of running attire. The race goes almost the same route as the Davis Corner run two weeks ago but is run in a different configuration which makes it a true 5K course rather than the "short" course of the last race. The race also starts at 10:00, so runners can get at least a little bit of rest from the night's/early morning New Year's Eve celebrations. The weather was rather nice, sunny with the temps in the 40-50's with a bit of a wind.
I went to bed a bit early...a little after 1:00 a.m... New Year's Eve but still wasn't able to get to sleep for about another hour because of fireworks being set off in the neighborhood. But because of the late start time, I was still able to get some much needed rest. I still got to the park rather early and was able to get my bib and chip with no problems and then warmed up for about 15 minutes by running up and around the mounts.
The race is chip timed so there was no reason to get on the starting line and I settled into a spot a couple of rows back on the left edge. The starting horn blasts us on our way at 10:00 and we are off on the first race on the first day of 2008. Because of the warm up, I was feeling quite good at the start but by the first turn my breathing started to labor from trying to get around slower runners. About that time Steve catches up to me and we run together awhile and chat until the next turn when we get squeezed together by the crowd of runners making the turn and I let Steve go on ahead. I had planned on breaking 19 minutes today by trying to run a 6 mpm pace and had hoped to pace off of Steve as long as I could but the jostling around the corner gapped us to about 10 meters before I got back on pace. He had on a bright yellow shirt so it was easy to keep him in sight though and I continued on. There was also another fast runner that was just ahead of me that was in the 55-59 age group whom I had beat in the Santa Claus Shuffle about a month ago, so I paced off him to the first mile which came in at 5:55...just about where I wanted to be. We passed a water stop just before going around the lake, where I grabbed a cup to just wet my mouth and then I passed the guy and set my sights on a couple of young men, one wearing a plastic yellow head of hair. I could still see Steve about a hundred yards ahead. About then a runner wearing a tux passes...which amazed me that he was able run that fast with so much clothes on. Mile two came in at 12:32...6:37 pace!...I couldn't believe I lost 37 seconds...so I upped my pace and soon passed the tux runner. Yellow plastic hair was close now also and they turned to see me catching them and they increased their pace just as we were coming back across the start line again. We came to the last turn heading to the finish and mile 3 comes in at 18:34 and I think there is still a chance for slipping under 19 minutes and sprint for the finish. As I hit the finish line I see the clock read 19:02 and then :03...I should have picked up my pace sooner...the last 1.1 mile was in 6:30. Chip time ended up 19:01.50...1.5 seconds off! So...Some very mixed feelings...I was disappointed to miss by so little, but I was still happy with my 15 second PR, a 1st in my age group and 11th overall.
All finishers received a dogtag on a chain with the Hair of the Dog design and the Age Group awards were very cool Hair of the Dog medals, which I understand Steve designed. Cool design Steve!
There were 21 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 414 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 11 of 414
Age group finish place was 1 of 21
Time: 19:01.5 for an overall pace of 6:08 per mile
A great way to start off the New Year.
Happy New Year...You all!