Monday, April 18, 2011

Race Report - Gary's Gallop 5K

Saturday morning was the Gary's Gallop 5K held at Wisconsin Lutheran College's Raabe Stadium. I have run this race 3 years in a row now and really like the small race feel and how well it is organized. My friend and fellow Icebreaker Indoor Marathon committee member Brian Volkman is the race director and even with a few unexpected snags this year, did an excellent job for a 5K race.

One thing Brian could not control was the weather. It as in the mid to upper 30's and it was misting rain along with some wind. Sound like good weather? It didn't seem to dampen spirits though as there were still 252 finishers in the 5K along with 63 walkers. Another thing Brian could not control was the construction crew. Seems that the construction crew beginning to build new stadium seating and locker facilities cut power to the sound system to all announcement were made by yelling (no bullhorn was available either as the sound system was expected to be used). The national anthem was sung by a member of the recording group Koine` but turns out we all sang together. That was a nice touch.

As with past years, we were all given a nice cotton long sleeve shirt. Same design as previous years, just a different color. I now have Green, Orange and now, Red!

The race started right on time and we headed for the parkway and down a hill toward the 1st mile mark. I was trying to relax as much as I could but it felt a little fast and I hoped to maintain knowing we would have to run back up the hill. Mile 1 was 6:34 which is about where I wanted to be. About a quarter mile later was the turn around and we headed back. I was somewhere near 30th place but at least in or near quite a few other guys which helped going up the hill. My mile 2 split was 7:08 as the hill took its toll on me. I was able to pass a few guys as we headed back to the stadium and past it before entering the baseball field area. About a half mile to go and I saw a few more guys ahead of me that I thought I could catch so I kept the pressure up. This race ends with a full lap on the track and then running to the 50 yard line of the football field. Again I was able to pass 2 guys on the track and 1 more right as we hit the football field for the final 50 yards. My finishing time was 20:59 and 23rd place overall.

I am not unhappy with my time and also not ecstatic. Considering the weather and the course, it was about where I expected. It was only 20 to 30 seconds slower than the last 2 years. After the race, I ran an additional 5 miles while the kids race was going on. The kids race it so much fun to watch. About 20 kids between 2 and 10 ran 1 lap around the track and all received a ribbon. That is pretty cool for a race to do, make the kids feel a part of the fun.

As I finished the 5 mile 'cool down', the awards were being given out and I was surprised to learn that I took 2nd in my age group. I received a medal for my efforts. In a nice gesture, as I went up to get my medal, Brian told all the other runners about the WELS Kids Marathon that I organize and hold the final mile at the same location. That was really cool.

Even on my cool down, a lady stopped me and asked if she could get her school involved in the Kids Marathon. I will have to tell you more about that as we are beginning our 3rd year.

Thumbs up to Brian on putting on another great race and I plan on running this one yet again next year. Now 3 weeks more and I will try a 5K once again up in Door County.

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