Thursday, August 25, 2011

Race Report: 2011 Mahomet 5k

 On Saturday August 20th, 2011 I ran the Mahomet 5k race.  This was the 16th edition of this race and the first time I have ran in it.  It's a hometown race for me.  Expectations were high for myself as I wanted to finish in under 20 minutes.  I knew it was going to be somewhat of a challenge because the 3 times I ran this route my time varied between 20:23 and 20:39.  Complicating my under 20 minute goal was the fact that nearly half of the race was uphill with rollers.  I was banking on race day adrenaline to push me to a new 5k PR.

The weather was perfect at 68 degrees, light winds, and cloud cover.  Since I only live about a mile from the start line I decided to jog to the event to avoid the parking crowd.  Upon my arrival I stopped and visited with some friends before I started my pre-race warm up and stretching.  Everything was going as planned and I felt great.

Photo Courtesy of The Photo News

Prior to the 5k starting the 1/2 marathon runners and wheel chair racers went first.  Once they were off it was then 10 minutes before the 5k race started.  I got up towards the front near the starting line.  The gun fires and here we go!

The first half of the race is slightly downhill and flat.  I got off to a great start.  In fact, it was so great that I ran the first mile in 5:56.  That is really fast for me and I have never ran a mile that fast before.  In most cases I would back off a little and run a 6:15-6:30 pace, but I was feeling good and the rhythm was there, so I kept pushing on. 

The first part of mile 2 was flat and I maintained my pace while only slowing just a bit.  The second part of mile two was the beginning of the rolling uphill journey to the finish line.  I made up Turkey Farm Road better than I planned to.  My pace obviously slowed down since I was going uphill but my pace was good at 6:34 for mile 2.  At this point I was right on track to get under 20 minutes.

My weakness of the entire course was just ahead of me....mile 3 (State Street).  Its an up and down rolling street.  It doesn't seem that bad when you drive it.  The problem is running this street after just going up Turkey Farm Road. 

Physically, I knew I had it in me.  Mentally I knew this part of the route was my weakness and I think I let my mind beat me this time.  I ran the 3rd mile in 7:02.  My goal was to maintain a pace of around 6:30-6:40 during the 3rd mile and sprint to the finish.  My goal of getting under 20 was lost on State Street.  If I could have maintained my goal pace I would have gotten my goal time.

The race ended after one lap around the high school track.  There were two runners ahead of me as we entered the track area.  I did my best to catch them in the last 400 meters.  The 12 year old (the one behind me in the picture who past me just before we entered the track) ahead of me beat me by 5 seconds.

Even though I didn't get my goal time I was happy with the race.  I think I left some on the race course, which aggravates me a little, but that will motivate me in the next 5k race.  The majority of the race I felt really good and was able to maintain a fast pace comfortably.  Makes me dream of what my time would have been if the course was generally flat.

My official clock time was 20:23.  I finished 13th overall (out of 296) and 2nd in my age group (out of 15).  Another race....another medal.

Now, it's time to switch gears back to triathlon training.  I have two triathlons left this season and at least one more 5k race.  Can't get enough it!


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