I did just fine, running my 3rd fastest 5K in 19:49, 14 seconds faster than last year.
DID YOU WIN?
No and I might need to start lying about my age. I moved up 11 spots overall from a year ago, to 69th out of 4,253, but down 8 places in my age group, to 16th of 285. That's the lowest place of any of the men's age groups for that time and the lowest I've been in my age group since I first ran the race in 2008.
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
Wary of getting stuck behind hundreds of folks at the starting line again, I took my warm-up jog early and hung around the start, just pacing around. The 8:00 start time passed with an announcement the race would start in 5 minutes. Five minutes later, we were still a few minutes away. Finally at 8:12, the horn went off.
I started a little fast but settled myself down quickly and was around 6:00 pace for a while before tailing off. The brisk south wind presented the same problem as last year; I didn't get the benefit of it on the opening stretch thanks to all those folks behind me, but by the time I got around to Skillman, it was right in my face with no one to shield me. I got a good push from the wind over the last three-tenths of a mile to come in safely under 20 minutes.
I think the Run Project folks reached a little too far last year in pushing the field to 8,000 people. The number of timed finishers dropped by about 800 this year and I don't believe they declared a sellout. It's possible that interest declined some due to the rebranding and repositioning of the parade this year, and it's possible that folks were turned off by overly crammed DART trains last year (although that problem was fixed by adding trains this year). But surely some people were unhappy with the race experience last year and decided not to come back. I'm quite curious to hear why the numbers plunged; I highly doubt it was just a matter of folks opting not to wear the chip.
6:06 pace last .12
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
It's a 5K; you get a T-shirt. Oh, and a coupon for free Chipotle.
Fairview Half Marathon, Apr. 6.