ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL TALK. HOW'D IT GO?
I started strong, ran strong in the middle and finished strong for a time of 19:29, only 6 seconds slower than my PR from March 2011.
DID YOU WIN?
I did win; I was 1st of 35 in my age group. I was 12th of 257 men and 13th of 485 overall (I thought there would be many more runners but apparently there were either a lot of no-shows or a lot of folks running untimed).
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
Look, I ran a 100-miler between running this 5K and writing this race report, so please forgive me for blanking out on some of the details. I remember there were a few raindrops here and there that held off for the race but nonetheless made for a steamy evening. I ran out comfortably, knowing the only meaningful hill was coming in the first mile. Making the climb on Santa Fe Avenue I focused on using my glutes to get up the hill, which has been a point of emphasis in my recent training.
Getting up the hill I passed people, coming down the other side I passed people, and I just kept it going like that the rest of the way. As the leaders made the turnaround and headed gently back downhill to the start, I counted 15 folks in front of me. I picked off a couple and got tantalizing close to some others as the last half mile approached. But even with a group of 4 just a few seconds in front of me, I couldn't find another gear to kick past them -- I had pretty well spent everything I had to get there, leaving the tank just empty as I finished.
The post-race setup was pretty nice -- think Katy 5K on a much smaller scale. There were half a dozen food trucks with food for sale (boo) but a few vendors such as Urban Taco handing out complimentary bites. With only a couple of spotlights on hand, the festivities had to wrap up rather quickly post-race; this is something the organizers should fix for next year to make this more of an event.
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
Beyond the standard cotton T-shirt, a green wristband -- possibly the least useful accessory ever -- was also thrown in. The age-group awards were unique, though: these lanterns:
Heartland 100 (already done, race report forthcoming).