This was a great choice for me, as I really had little idea what kind of shape I was in.
For the race I brought a brand spanking new pair of Brooks T5 racing shoes. And when I say brand new, I mean it - I had not run one meter in these bad boys before the race. It was a beautiful morning - in the forties, clear and not much wind. The only downside, was the stupid cat attacked my big toe last night, ripping the shit out of it. Not really ideal for road racing. Ahem.
At the start there was one young kid doing some strides who looked pretty fast and scary. There was also a masters runner I did not know who was doing some strides. I was not sure what to make of this guy. Of course the start was loaded with a buncha high school kids, and I figured they would all go out really hard, and a few of them - the cross country kids, might be able to keep up the pace.
Well sure enough, the gun went off and right outta the shoot there were probably 30 runners ahead of me, including the masters guy. And sure enough after the first quarter mile, I had passed two thirds of them, with only a pack of 10, including masters guy in front of me. This section of the race was on a wide two lane street, with a slight down hill for 600 meters or so and then a slight uphill for 600 meters or so, then a turn around and back down the other side of the street. As soon as we hit the first up hill section, I started picking off the guys in the pack of 10. Just before the turn around I passed the masters guy. I was now in third position, with the young speedy kid already a minute or more ahead in first. I was right on the shoulder of another young kid who was in second.
I ran with that kid all the way back on the return section. He was determined not to let me pass him although I did get manage to get in front of him briefly. He quickly recovered and captured the lead again for good. We had two short but steep inclines and he killed me on both. Both times I recovered. I was with him as we headed for home, but with 200 meters, he completely out kicked me - and I was trying hard.
I finished third overall, first masters, in 16:52. There were no mile markers on the race course, so I have no idea what the mile splits were. This is probably a 3 mile PR and puts me pretty darn close to my 5K PR of 17:18. (Update: I ran 16:45 for 3 miles during the 1998 Jogr Egg Nogr 5K, when I ran 17:18...Pretty darn close!) I checked the race distance on the amazing GMap Pedometer, and it looks to be accurate! Masters guy finished just behind me in fourth - he won the 50-54 AG.
After the race, I talked with the kid who finished second. He is, of course, the captain of the Sachse High School Cross Country Team. And so it is no doubt that he had to defend his home turf. The fast guy won in sub 15 time. He too, was a recent graduate of Sachse High School and still holds all of their cross country and track records.
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012