Sharin 'O' the Green 5k - Ft. Collins, Colorado 2010
by, 03-13-2010 at 08:14 PM (1052 Views)
I feel like I have made a lot of trips to Ft. Collins of late, the last trip up there to race a 5k was a waste of a time. However, I knew the Sharin ĎOí the Green 5k was a well respected race, run on city streets and a race with solid competition.
Normally, I get to a race with about 10-15 minutes to spare, the life of traveling to races with the family in tow. However, today was an anomaly as I travelled to the race solo, tried to get Brandon to come with me but he wasnít man enough. I got to the race an hour before the start, which is about a half hour later than Justin would have gotten there. I ran the race course and put in an extra mile for a four mile warm-up. The temperature was perfect, slight breeze, I was feeling good.
The start of the race was odd, runners race a city block and make a 90 degree turn, run another city block and make another 90 degree right turn. Standing at the start line, I noticed some solid competition, however there were numerous kids up front and a lady with a stroller. I kid you not and it wasnít even a jogging stroller, but a regular stroller, I bet the 1k runners behind her were loving her.
When the race started I took off hard, wanting to get in front of the youngsters and the lady with the stroller. Going into the first turn I had to put my hand on another runnerís back, Apolo Anton Ohno style! After the first two turns were out of the way the race featured a solid mile straightway, so I backed off the pace and got into a rhythm. A quarter mile into the race Kara Roy pulled up alongside me, I figured she would run a low 18 minute 5k, so I stuck with her as we moved our way through the pack.
The first mile was slightly uphill; goal was to come through in 5:50. I hit the first mile in 5:47 and felt great, now the racing begins. Iíve said it before but I hate the first mile of a 5k, everyone running out insanely fast, getting in your way, etc. I mentally tell myself that the first mile should be easy and that the true racing starts after the first mile, thatís when the hurt starts.
Going into the second mile, I picked up the pace a bit and separated myself from Kara. I picked off two more runners and came through with a 5:44 split. The start of the second mile featured a slight incline and I noticed my pace drop from 5:45 to 5:46 on my Garmin. This is why I love racing with the Garmin, instant feedback; I saw that I was slowing down so I started to push harder.
With a half mile to go I picked off two more runners and had two more in my sights. Now the finish was also a bit goofy featuring a left hand turn, run a block and makes a right turn, run another block and make a right hand turn and then finish with less than a city block.
I made my surge but noticed the guy right in front of me also surging, he passed the younger runner who was previously two spots ahead of me. I figured the youngster would toss down a mean kick, but the guy who was kicking was in his 40ís. I hit the mile 3 marker having run a 5:40 final mile. I gritted my teeth and passed the 20íish runner, then went into a full sprint. I passed the 40 year old runner (Raul Carrizalez) with about .05 to go and he dropped the hammer. Man, I expect the fight from the high school cross country kids, Iíve been out kicked by them in head to head showdowns many a times, but letís face it, most of the time when youíre battling a guy in his 40ís they donít throw down with a full sprint.
When Raul kicked it up a notch, I went into my final gear sprinting frantically to the finish, I maintained my slight lead and nipped him at the line, with the crowd cheering wildly! According to my Garmin my final tenth of a mile was run at 4:08 pace!
Finished the race with a 17:47, a great time for me, especially for an early season race. I figure this is a great sign, because honestly I have done zero hard workouts in 2010, the only hard running that I have done were my three snowshoe races and my other 5k. Thus, hopefully a sign of good things to come in 2010 once the hard training commences.