Today I ran the 5K race. The race was called Gary's Gallop and was named after the President of Wisconsin Lutheran College who died unexpectedly 6 years ago. It is a nice little 5 K with 200 or so runners and walkers and then also a 1 lap around the track kids race.
I got there about 45 minutes before the start, signed up and then did a 2 mile warm up. During the warm up, I saw some friends I didn't know were running. Dana and Chris had just done 10 miles and stopped 30 minutes before the race and planned on running. I knew these 2 guys would run a lot faster than me even with running 10 miles beforehand. They are both tuning up for marathons in the next few weeks.
As I said before, my goal is to try to break 20 minutes though I know the course is a little difficult with a few hills. The gun goes off and I start at a nice pace knowing not to go too fast. There are a lot of people in front of me but local 5K's are known for people going out way to fast. The first mile has a lot of downhill so i try to use that without wearing out my legs. Mile 1 - 6:27, right at 20:00 pace. I pass many people around this time and continue to do so as I climb up the hill during mile 2. I can feel my pace slowing but continue to charge ahead. Mile 2 - 6:54. Now I know I am in trouble if I want to break 20 minutes so I begin to focus on the guys ahead of me to see if I can beat them. I pass 2 before we turn into the sports complex area and I see a couple more I think I can catch.
The race has a nice finish where you enter the track and run a full lap on the track and at the top of the turn, you turn onto the football field and finish at the 50 yard line. I enter the track and I see 2 more people I think I can beat. With 300 Meters to go, I fly past one of them without giving him a chance to respond. Then I catch another guy with 75 meters to go and pass him. Thy looked like they could be in my age group so I wanted to make sure I passed them. Once on the football field, there was a lady 5 meters in front of me. If I really wanted to, I could have passed her but I had the other guy beat, so I laid a little back and finished right behind her. I didn't want to look like jerk for passing a woman right at the tape plus she wouldn't be in my age/gender category anyways. We both finish with a time of 20:43. I end up in 18th place overall. My friends Dana and Chris to extremely well with Dana winning the entire race in 16 something and Chris taking 4th in 18:40.
No results were posted so I had to wait to see if I won any award in my age group. To my surprise, I was 1st in my age group and got a little medal. It is not breaking 20 minutes but it was nice to get the award. About 45 minutes after the race, there is a Kids race that is 1 lap around the track. My 3 princesses came and ran their race and all received a ribbon for finishing. The oldest was pretty far up front as well.
I was able to check the track and facilities out good because this is where the Kids Marathon I am organizing is going to take place. The college is being extremely generous in letting us use the facilities, track, parking lots, portolets, etc. all for no charge. Speaking with the athletic director, he said he is going to try to recruit some volunteers as well. I think his daughter is going to participate.
So all in all a good day. I hope my friend Mark did well in his marathon today. I was thinking about you buddy while I was racing!