St. Pete Beach 13.1

So for those of you that didn’t get the full story. I was down in Florida for the ChronoTrack conference and Jamie and I decided to go for a walk to grab some food. We walked no more than 100 meters before coming across this giant Stat and Finish banner.

So over dinner I looked up which races were in town and turns out the St. Pete Beach Classic was going on all weekend. I was bummed I didn’t bring any racing flats or any racing stuff but I figured I would email the race director anyway.

He offered to give me a discounted rate on the entry, so I thought why not. Jamie and I walked over to the hotel expo and registered up for the race. Then we headed over to the running store display. They had all of last years or later shoes sitting there on clearance. I told the guy “Give me something that looks fast.”

So this is what I ended up with.

Nike Flats

Nike Flats

I figured I better break them in so I did an easy 4 mile run in them that night. I was also told there would be some good competition at the race. There were a few guys looking to run 70 min. I thought that would be perfect since I had no idea how in or outta shape I was in. I thought if I could run sub 74 that would be good for what little training I had been doing.

BLAH BLAH BLAH..Onto race morning!
It was a perfect Florida morning. It was about 62 out with a slight wind. I was the first guy to make his way towards the start line. I was looking for the guys who looked the part.

Two guy finally stepped up to the start. I asked them what they were looking to run and told them I’m just going to sit on them until they drop me.

The gun went off and it actually seemed like a nice casual run. We were clipping along at an easy 5:30 ish first mile. We were all talking a little bit and making polite conversation. I leaned that they were both 68 min. guys so I was a little nervous at how bad this was going to hurt but I just kept telling myself “If they are going to beat me I’m going to make them work for it.”

After about 4-5 miles of running an easy 5:25 ish pace I was starting to feel pretty comfortable and neither of these guys wanted to push the pace. Soon the local guy ,Hank, began to slow up. So the young man from Boston and I started to push a little.

Finishing up the 5th mile I was still feeling good and I told him that he could draft behind me for a little if he wanted a windshield. As soon as I took the lead I sped up to a 5:10 mile and put the hurt on him. That was the last I saw him…

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful…just me grinding miles solo. I crossed the finish line in 1st place with over a 2 min gap on second place and a 5 min. gap to 3rd place. Once again this goes to show you’re only as fast as your last race.