Monday, August 20, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Mahomet 5k

On Saturday August 18th , 2012 I ran in the 17th annual Mahomet Area Youth Club 5k.  This is a hometown race for me and it is a challenging yet fun event.  Being a hometown event it is nice because you know and see a lot of familiar faces.
Race day couldn’t have been better as the temperature was in the low 50’s with no humidity.  This was probably coolest it has ever been for this event.  Usually it is hot and humid this time of year.  It is also nice to not have to drive to a race.  Just rolled out of bed and my warm up run was the mile to the start line. 

Time: 19:25 (Personal Best)
Overall Finish: 12/450
Age Group Finish: 1/16

This was my second time running this 5k and my goal was to run it in under 20 minutes.  Last year I ran this race in 20:23.  The course is slightly challenging.  The first mile or so is downhill to flat, the second and third mile include about every hill Mahomet has, then you finish with a lap around the high school track.

To get a sub 20 minute time I knew I would have to conquer the Turkey Farm Road and State Street portion of the race.  This is the part of the race that is primarily uphill with rolling hills.  I run these roads all the time, but I have trouble maintaining a good pace on this stretch of road and it is a mental barrier to me.

This is the first run race that I had a specific game plan for.  I broke the race down into 3 sections or checkpoints.  To get under 20 minutes I knew I had to be at those checkpoints at a certain watch time.  I wrote what my watch time needed to be at these checkpoints on my hand before the race.  This would either mentally defeat me or really motivate me. 

I ran the first mile at a really fast pace of 5:54 which is faster than I really wanted to.  Shortly after the first mile, and before the uphill portion began, I started to slow down just a bit.  That is when a 13 year old, who I know and we always finish close to each other said, “come on man we got this, let’s go”.  I was thought to myself, “that’s great man see you at the finish you go get it”.  After that split second thought I was like alright man here we go.  I hit my first checkpoint faster than planned which was very motivating.

The hardest part of the race for me was just around the corner.  A mental battle that had to be won today.  With the first checkpoint successfully completed I tried to keep focus by picking off runners that were doing the half marathon ahead of me.  This kept me mentally focused.  Made up Turkey Farm road at a fast pace. 

Then State Street.  I run on this road everyday and I cuss it every time.  It’s a street that brings down my average on every single run.  There were two hills in front of me before I got to my next checkpoint.  Knowing if my time is below the 2nd checkpoint time I would have a great chance to get a sub 20 minute time.  Bam, I am ahead of schedule!  Take that State Street.  Today I beat you.  There were was one more hill after my checkpoint but it wasn’t that bad. 

My final checkpoint was at the gate where you run into the track at the high school.  Looked at my watch and was still ahead of my expected time.  In fact, at that moment, I realized that I have a chance to get a personal best 5k time.  Onward I went for  the last 400 meters in a dead sprint.

 Stopped the watch and it read 19:25 and I was pretty pumped up about it.  My previous 5k record was 19:31 on a very flat course.  So to get a personal best at this race that was a little more challenging is  awesome.

This is a great race that seems to grow every year.  It is well organized, well executed, and supported by the community.  Race swag included an event t-shirt and other various items from the sponsors.  After the race there was plenty of water, Gatorade, and numerous food options.  There was a DJ playing music near the finish line which is nice.  Results and awards were done in a timely fashion.

A great hometown race for this homeboy.  Mission accomplished.

Two more missions to go for this year.  First is to qualify for the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship Race and run a sub 20 minute 5k at the Run For The Library in November. 

Train.  Race.  Repeat

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