Let's get to the race:
I seeded myself just behind the front row to ensure I didn’t have to fight for position at the start. With the sound of the gun, we were off and moving pretty quickly. After only 3 short blocks, we took a right onto a 3/4 mile long hill. Still trying to push the pace, I moved up the hill pretty well, with the race leaders only 10 ft in front of me. Once we crested the hill, it was a short downhill before hitting the 1 mile marker. As I approached the Mile 1 marker, I started hearing the splits. I was afraid to look at my watch, because the feelings in my legs as we crested that first long hill told me all I needed to know. As I got closer to the timer, I heard my split. Mile 1: 5:50 – WAY too fast, given ¾ of that was spent climbing a pretty steep hill.
I knew after that first mile split, that I was in for a treat of pain today, because after a very short flat section, most of Mile 2 was also spent climbing to the turnaround, before heading back down that hill we just moved up. My legs were really starting to fatigue and I felt little juice left. The combination of the hill and the act of turning around at the cone, made it a challenge to pick the pace back up. I struggled on and came through Mile 2 in 6:39, a sharp contrast from Mile 1.
We stuck around for the awards ceremony after the race and I finished 3rd in my Age Group and 9th overall. Not bad, considering the lack of race execution. I know I could have moved up a few spots with some better pacing and significantly improved on my time. I do plan to run another couple of 5ks in the next month or 2 (hopefully less hilly), so look out for some applied lessons learned and the end to this insanity!