Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Paddy's Dash Down Greenville 5k (Dallas)

5k, ~19:45 unofficial

My chip time didn't register, so I may never know how fast my "official" time was for this race. I sent an email to the timing group and I haven't received a response yet. Also, despite pre-registering, they ran out of shirts. So I didn't get timed or get my shirt. I'll give them a few days to mail me a shirt and fix my time. If they don't I may consider cancelling my credit card charge.

The other bad thing about this race was that the race organizers didn't line people up properly at the starting line. Those who arrived early grabbed spots at the start line, and those who arrived late simply lined up in front of them, ahead of the starting line. Baracades prevented them from going around to the back, and the speedsters in front weren't about to give up their positions to strollers, walkers and kids. As a result the starting field had to weave through hundreds of really slow people at the beginning. I ran along the sidewalk jumping over and around spectators and garbage cans. At one point I had to backtrack because I hit a dead end. A conservative guess puts me at a 15 second disadvantage for the first mile due to the obstacles.

My overall time wasn't great. I had hoped to break 19 minutes, but the early trouble made me think that was probably impossible. After the first mile I really felt the cumulative effect of the training on my legs (last week was my toughest week of training in a long time, perhaps ever). So I knew this wouldn't be my PR race. I concentrated on passing as many people as possible. There were a bunch of slower people ahead of my during the entire race since they all started ahead of me.

The race course was challenging with serious wind and hills unlike anything here in Dallas. (I'm sure the hills are speed bumps compared to other parts of the country, but they were difficult for me.) There was net change of 70-80 feet up over the last mile, which came as two uphill climbs.

I finished under 20 minutes, and outkicked a bunch of people at the end. All in all I'd say my race was a success, and good training for what I can expect at the crescent city classic in terms of crowds.

Half Mile Splits:
3:09, 3:09, 3:07, 3:09, 3:22, 3:10, 0:38 (.12 mile finish)

My official time has been posted. It was 19:38.9 for 7th place in Male Age 30-44. 47th place overall. Four ladies beat me, but one of those four started along with hundreds of others in front of the starting line. The overall best time was 15:20 (M) and 17:00 (F). I wonder if I'll ever be able to run a 17:00. That seems impossible for me, but then again 20:00 seemed to be the best I could ever hope for one short year ago. I'm racing against the biological clock. I'll see how long I can win that race before my best times are no longer achievable.

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