One of my favorite local races had arrived. The Mew Tavern "Gear & Beer" 5k is run every November in Wakefield, RI. It starts and ends with decent hills and has a great afterparty with beer and food. It's always a crowded but fun event and this year was their biggest yet with over 2000 registered runners. With the hills and the temperature I had no illusions of a PR but I hoped that I could run about 18:30.
Amanda and I parked at the Elks Lodge and walked down to the Mews. It was cold and when the wind blew it was pretty awful. My Garmin wasn't charged and I realized I'd be running without the space watch for the first time in two years which disturbed me a bit. We had brought a bag with clothes for afterward but there wasn't really a good place to stash it so I ran it back up to the car, stripped down and did a short warm-up. Once I began running it wasn't as cold as I had feared. I made my way to the start line and saw the WTAC guys in attendance. After a few minutes the race director lined us up and then we were off.
The race goes uphill straight away and I tried to reign it in, letting a bunch of people go by. Some poor bastard had been driving down the road as the race began and stopped at the most inopportune place - right at the first corner. We ran around him and then there was no more car troubles. A few more people passed me on the way up to Willard St and I questioned how hard I was working. Should I be pushing harder? I found myself running alongside this tall shaggy dude. He was wearing minimalist shoes and made a loud slapping noise with every footfall.
|When friends run and drink, everyone wins.|
I tried to push a little harder and finally the sounds of Slappy Dude faded away. Under Armor was still just ahead of me though. I was feeling it at this point but still felt like I had enough left for the big hill. We turned onto the hill and immediately I went by Under Armor who gave me some encouragement. Then halfway up the hill I managed to catch another guy. After that it was a mad downhill dash back down to the finish line. I was afraid someone would catch me and I didn't feel like I was moving well but I was safe. Finished in 18:17. 20 seconds off my PR from last month. Tough race in cold conditions - I'll take it happily.
Almost immediately I jogged back to the car to get our warm clothes and on the way back Amanda went by. She had a great race and finished in just under 25 minutes. A HUGE PR! We put on some warmer clothes and made our way to the beer area where we stood around chatting with everyone we knew. Eventually the frigid temps drove people away. You know it's cold when they still had a good amount of beer to be had two hours later. Amanda and I took shelter in the big tent until the food line died down. Grabbed some chow and more drinks and enjoyed the heat of the tent once again before heading home.
There were some strong showings from WTAC with Galoob and Ryan Woolley taking 4th and 5th. My team, the Channel 4 News Team, had an injury so we weren't able to field a complete group. Our wives ran a corresponding team but I think there was an issue with their team registration. And I know the WTAC guys fielded a team but I didn't see them listed in the results. Not surprising as the team registration process is confusing to say the least. Ah well, it's all in good fun. Next year join us, won't you?