Quick 5k race report

March 7 race report

The race: Jack Kenny 5k

The place: Glen Oak Park, Peoria, IL

The time: 9 am

The numbers: 20:15, 3rd in age division (former PR 22:46)

The report: When I woke up Saturday morning, I knew it wasn't going to be the best race I could do. The weather was fine (cool, cloudy and only a slight blustery wind), but I had spent over 5 hours driving down the night before, and since I am allergic to my father's dog, I was a little conegested. (Nothing wrong, BTW, with combining a family visit and a race.) I didn't bother with breakfast, since it was only a 5k, and I could just eat afterwards.

When I got to the race site, I had to go register. Once that was done, I killed time, wandering a little, taking a couple bio breaks, and a little stretching. Soon enough, it was time to line up.

The course is a simple loop, repeated 3 times. So, while it is a little repetitive, it's also short enough that it's not a mind-numbing ordeal. (I wouldn't want to run a 10k on a 1 mile course though.) I lined up fairly close to the front, but made sure to place myself behind the contingent of high school runners. I knew I wasn't going to beat most (or any) of them, but I wasn't running against them anyway. The way I see it, if you are not in the top 3, you are really only running against the other people in your age/gender bracket.

A brief "Runners, take your marks" and we were off. My first mile was fast, too fast. I think I clicked through it in 6:20, and that includes my efforts to slow down after the first quarter. If I had held my initial pace, I would have managed to come in at about the 18 minute mark!) I had some fading for the second and third laps, although I am sticking by my official story, which is that I dropped down to about the pace I intended to do all along.

Soon enough, I was climbing the final hill the last time. I saw the runner ahead of me, started closing the gap, and finally kicked it into high gear as I approached the finish line. It was not to be be, however - I had started my final kick too late, and he finished 1 second ahead of me. (For the record, he took 2nd in my age group. Grr..)

I stuck around after, and my dad cheered on several runners he knew from work. We waited until the end of the awards ceremony - both to collect my bling, and to congratulate his co-workers, who had taken age group awards as well.

It was a nice race - if I happen to be visiting next year when it is being run, I'd happily run it again. Probably won't beat the high school kids though; I think a couple of them had times in the low 16-minute range.


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