What a perfect day for a 5K. Especially a low key race in Saline, MI where they are offering up $500 1st place. I bet no one even knows about this race…I guess that’s what all of us were thinking. I did have the upper hand since the online registration was through my website…so I might have scrolled the list of runners already registered, looking for some fast names I might recognize.
News flash, most fast guys don’t register. As I’m parking my car I begin to see some fast looking guys decked out is MSU track gear, a guy decked out in brooks (Hanson’s), and a Kenyan looking fella. Figures…but at least I knew the race was going to be fast and that’s all I really cared about.
I was trying to prod the brooks kid asking him if he was going to break 15 min and he gave a silly round about answer then Blacklaws pointed out the MSU kid just ran 4:00 in the Willis mile that took place a week earlier at Saline High School. So now I got excited and knew I was in for a treat. My goal was 14:45 for the day which would tie my road 5K PR.
The race started off pretty damn fast and as usual I find myself in the front…Not the kinda front where I’m saying bye to the rest of the field but the kinda front where everyone is going to make their pace B!C#. I just kept thinking “if this guy is in 4:00 shape then I better run the kick out of him, so I pushed on.
Being that I’m the only A-hole who shows up to a road race without a watch, I had no idea what our first mile was. Someone later said they thought it was around 4:45. Quickly after that first mile we hit uphill and continued to push hard. There was a pack of four of us and no one was giving an inch. After a few more tight 90 degree turns we looped around to the hill we just ran up and everyone pushed the pace on the downhill…My body said “no chance.” These guys were just better prepared for this faster stuff than me.
I didn’t really slow down so much as they picked it up…I tell myself that so I feel better 🙂 The leaders hit the two mile at about 9:20 and I was trailing by just a few seconds. As we pushed on through the third mile the gap started to grow. I finally noticed the 4:00 guy broke and started to drop off the leaders. The two guys in front were battling.
Now here is the hard part of any race. Knowing you are not going to get passed but are also not going to be passing anyone. I had to keep my eyes up at the guy in front of me, maintain my quick leg turnover, and keep pushing. I was now racing the clock…and with no watch I had no idea how fast I was running which was playing on my mind.
We popped back out on the main road where we started and I knew I only had 400m to go. I began a subtle kick…the road was so broken up here you couldn’t get a decent stride. I could see the clock and it was reading 14:30…I thought I might break my PR…so now I started running balls out.
I crossed the ghost finish line at 14:40 then was told to keep running as that was not the finish line…really?!?! the place where you put the clock, first mat, and flags is not the finish line…so I jogged up to the next set of mats on the ground to get my true finish time of 14:42.8 which was still my fastest road 5K.
Even after getting my butt kicked I was still able to walk away with $50, a new PR, and a reassurance that my training was headed in the right direction for Chicago. As for the race, if you are looking for a good fast 5/k next year this will be the place to go. They are going to restructure the prize money a little better, the finish line will be correct, and the course will also be loosing two or more 90 degree turns which of course will make it faster.
Here is a link to the results
Here is a link to some pics.
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