Say No to Drugs 10K
20th overall, 20th male, 3rd AG (last race of 45-49 AG)
I did this race 6 years ago and came pretty close to breaking 40 minutes, and with the last 10k I did at just over 42 minutes I was hoping to come someplace in between, maybe break 41 minutes perhaps.
I arrived there in plenty of time, get signed up, warm up a bit, and then get Jamie's stuff for her as she was running a little bit late. Went to use the POP one last time but this was cutting it too close and ended up running to the starting area and could not get that close to the starting line before it was time to go. Looked hopeless at first due to the size of the crowd. But, after about a half mile I was slowly heading towards the pace I wanted and steadily pacing people. It had taken me 24 seconds to cross the starting line so I figured anyone I was next to I was alread ahead of (sort of) at this point.
Finished the first mile at 7:01 pace and that was at the top of the bridge. As I picked up speed I had some hope that I could salvage my race, because 7:01 was my slowest mile at Turkey Trot so if I could hang on maybe still break 42:00. I passed a big body builder guy wearing a Santa style womans nighty. The 5k turnaround point came and went and it was no longer a crowd but a very long line stretching pretty far. On the downhill I was running about a 6:20 pace but didn't hold it once the road flattened out but still ended up with a pretty good 6:30.
I was still passing people including a guy pushing a stroller making it look way too easy. A few minutes from the turnaround I could see the leader, Michael Poole, with no one nearby behind him. 3rd mile was 6:44, then came the turnaround and passsed 2 or 3 more people as we headed to the roundabout. The people I was passing must have been fading a bit because my pace was slowly slowing, with the next mile at 6:56.
The next mile was just a straight flat line to the bottom of the Clearwater bridge and a reconverging with the 5K. The organizers did a good job of announcing before the race for 5k'ers to keep to the right, they had signs posted and course marshalls. I lost a lot of speed going up the bridge and was hopeful I could get most of it back on the way downhill. Made it to the helix, wound around to the bottom and made the sharp right turn. Then just one more shorter hill up before the remaining flat and downhill to the finish.
Miles 5 and 6 were 7:04 and 7:08, but I was still passing people. There was one more person to close in on, a woman that looked like maybe in her 20's wearing a red outfit. As I approached the mile 6 sign and headed to the last turn I picked up the pace trying to catch her but she had also picked up the pace and slowly opened up a bigger gap as we ran under the finish clock. It was a hard fought battle but I could not catch this last runner. It turns out she was actually 12 and was the first place female for the race. Although I didn't catch her my chip time was about 20 seconds faster (not sure if this counts as being chicked, not sure what the official rules are, I'm guessing that goes by gun time and not chip time but I wasn't able to find anything on the USATF web site).
Splits: 7:01, 6:30, 6:44, 6:56, 7:04, 7:08, 1:47 (0.3 @ 5:56)
I jogged around a bit to get some cool down miles and ran Jamie back to her car before heading down for awards. One reason I signed up for the race was for the pancake breakfast, but I couldn't get my stomach to calm down and just had a banana and some juice. Went up and got Jamie's award (3rd AG F40-44) and then looped back around the stage for mine. I said I'd bring the boys home some cinnamon melts so was heading straight to my car. I could hear them announce 50-54 AG awards and heard "Rob Murphy" wasn't sure if it was THE Rob Murphy from FRB, turns out it was, would have been nice to say hi.
1.17 mi warmup, 6.3 mi race, 3.07 mi cool