Yesterday was the Gary's Gallop 5K in Wauwatosa, WI. This is a great little 5K with a lot of little extras that most 5K's do not offer while still having for a smaller field. There was 262 5K finishers as well as many people in the 3K walk. I ran this one 2 times in the past and each time I was able to place in my age group so that was a goal again.
It was cold there in the morning and the wind was blowing a lot, quite windy. The race started on the upper portion of a hill in the wide open and it was in the mid to upper 40's when I started my warm up but it felt much colder. It was sunny so that helped. I got in a good 2 mile warm up down the course some at 8:40 pace. I changed my mind about 10 minutes before the start and decided to run in only the singlet as a lot of the course was protected from the wind and I knew I would heat up. This turned out to be a good decision.
I had not done any speed work or very fast running since last fall so I was a bit worried at the pace I wanted to go out at which was 6:30 for the first mile. The wind and some of the hills worried me but I knew it was such a short race that going for it was the only decision. The gun goes off and away we go.
Something that really only happens in 5K or shorted races is the smaller kids who sprint out ling gang busters only to slow and walk by about 1/4 mile into the race. No exception here as some kids who look like 12 or younger are sprinting as fast as they could and some older people too and then 1/4 to a 1/2 mile later they were toast.
The first mile is mostly downhill so I have a good split at 6:32 and I am feeling fine. The turn around is at about 1 1/4 miles before heading back up the somewhat big hill we ran down. The hill slows everyone down some as I don't lose any ground or gain any ground on anyone. I do begin to hear a runner directly behind me. He is using me as a wind block. Very smart on his part as I am taller than most out there but annoying the same as it continued the rest of the race. Mile 2 was 6:51, the hill took its toll.
At about 2.4 miles, we turn into the sports complex again and I knew what was coming. Lots of wind right in the face. I tried to do a few small sures to get rid of the guy tailing me but no luck. I am passing people now so I did conserve enough energy for that. The race ends with a full lap on the track and the running from the end zone of the football field to the 50 yard line. A pretty cool finish but you seen the finish line for 1/2 mile. I surge again on the first part of the track when the wind is at my back but the guy is still there. I tell myself that there is no way I am going to let him beat me, he could be in my age group. With 150 meters to go, there are about 4 guys in front o me that I have to weave in and out of to pass. then we turn around the high jump area and onto the football field for the final 60 yard. Here comes the guy trying to pass me right at the end. Not going to happen as I flip it into one more gear and sprint to the finish line passing one more person but not letting this guy pass me.
My final time was 20:33 good for 31st place over all. I was 11 seconds faster than last year when there was not any wind and I didn't run 20 miles the weekend before so I was quite happy with that. Last year I placed 19th so there were quite a few faster runners this year. The next thing I did not like was that I placed 4th in my age group, 1 place and 4 seconds out of the top 3. Last year I took 1st in my age group. Oh well, that is hey way it goes. I needed to run 14 seconds faster to get 2nd.
I did a 2 1/2 mile cool down and then the girls showed up for the Kids race. This is a nice little feature they have where kids 12 and under run 1 lap on the track and all get a ribbon after finishing. The announcer even treats it like a real race giving play by play. Grey sweatshirt guy won!
They had bananas, apples, Gatorade, hot chocolate and many other things for the runners so the perks were quite nice. I recommend this 5K to anyone in the area.
Here is one this I found interesting. I looked at the results today and saw who the guy that was tailing me the last 1 1/2 miles and ended up one place and second behind me is the same guy who last year was one place behind me with the same time. I think he will be gunning for me next year!
Next up is the Jailbreak Marathon next weekend . . . if the weather is good. I am not going to use weather as an excuse but I am only using the race as another long training run. No need to drive 2 1/2 miles if the weather is miserable.