This is a favorite local race of mine - my recreational runner friends attend, there's a crazy amount of beer included with your registration and it has a great atmosphere. In years past it's been a standard 5k but this year apparently they had issues with the town and had to change the course. Unlike last year's frigid conditions, the temp was in the 50s and conditions couldn't have been better. But I was nervous going into this race - I had been battling my janky knee and had done nothing speedwise in months. I knew I wouldn't be in top form but was hopeful that I could still keep the pace under 6 minutes/mile.
|Pre-race photo with Crutchley - Photo by Easter Seals|
There were fewer runners this year - the effects of last year's cold day and the longer distance perhaps. There wasn't a huge group towing the line and when the gun went off Pelletier and the Colonel sped off ahead, leaving everyone in their wake. The race starts up a hill which sucks and by the time it leveled off I found myself around 16th place. A quick glance at the watch confirmed what I felt - my pace was around 6:15. Slow compared to what I know I'd be capable at full health, but I was surprised how far up in the field I was. Last year I finished 25th - it was looking like a lot of fast people sat this one out.
|Photo by Easter Seals|
Instead of heading down towards the Peacedale rotary, the new course heads up towards South Road, veering onto neighborhood streets along the way. I traded places with a couple folks on these roads - I thought I was moving well on the slight hills but I was bummed that I couldn't muster anymore speed. Luckily the janky knee didn't ache or give me any grief.
The long stretch on South Road was a bit of a slog and I was beginning to fatigue. A couple guys I were hanging with began to put distance on me and I could hear the patter of someone else gaining on me. I was passed as we moved onto side streets and back towards the Mews. Some guy up ahead began slowing down. He looked to be having bad cramps before he stopped and hurled on the side of the road. Well at least I picked up one place, I thought. But he caught back up to me within a quarter mile and sped off.
They put a clock at the 5k point and I was dismayed to see it read 19:03 as I passed. Ugh. Unlike the monster hill from the old course, the last half mile of this route is downhill. I was able to push it briefly on the steepest section but there wasn't anyone threatening behind me and while I slowly gained on some guy I knew I wasn't going to catch him. I crossed the finished not exactly thrilled with my race but happy to be done.
|Crossing the finish - Photo by Easter Seals|
|News Team Assemble!|
My mood improved once the beer began flowing and the camaraderie began. Amanda ran as well, intent on just enjoying herself as she hasn't been running much lately. A couple other buddies rounded out the Channel 4 New Team and we finished a respectable 14 out of 50 in the Family/Friends team category. I was surprised to see that I finished 2nd in my age group! Psyched to get an award - it turned out to be a $10 Denali gift card though I was hoping for a Mews gift cert.
I knew going into this race that I wasn't 100% and that I had to temper my expectations. I'm bummed that I seemed to have lost a step in terms of speed but I'm glad the knee wasn't an issue during the race. I still had a great time as it's the Mews race and the food/beer/friends afterwards is always enjoyable. Hopefully I'll continue to improve so that I'm in good shape for the 4th Season.