Placed 8th Overall; 1st place Age Group
Today I ran the inaugural Frosty 5k in Kernersville, NC. My sister, who works for the sponsor, Kernersville Medical Center, got me a free entry to the race so I was all about racing it! I haven't ran a 5k since March of this year so I was interested in seeing what 8 months of training for two ultras and a marathon would do for a 5k time.
The race included students from a local elementary school who all decided they had to line up at the front of the start line. Kind of aggravating but I think they were soon told maybe they needed to back up a little so they did. Glad I didn't have to weave and dodge them all. Somebody would have probably went down.
The air horn sounded and we were off. The first part was a slight downhill so I took off a lot faster than I should have. Oh well. The entire course was flat. Not like the beach flat or anything. Some slight ups and downs, but nothing major, so it was basically flat. I tried to settle in as quickly as possible and just pace myself knowing that I wanted to run at least 6:30 or less per mile, and hopefully beat 20 minutes, which was my ultimate goal. I would be satisfied to beat my March PR of 21:05 as well.
A young kid, maybe 10 years old, hung with me for a while. I was hoping that I would not get beat by a 10 year old. But you never know. I passed the one mile mark with the youngster in 6:16, a bit faster than I had planned but too late to change anything at that point.
As we rolled through the downtown area, a lot of people were lining the streets for the Christmas parade that would follow after the race. They were cheering us on and I kept hearing people say things like, "oh my gosh look at that guy", "oh wow that's hardcore", "dang that guy's running an pushing a stroller!". Yes, I was closely followed by a guy pushing a baby jogger. Not just any baby jogger, but a double baby jogger, with two kids in it! And these weren't small kids. Probably three and four years old maybe. I kept telling myself 'you'd better not get beat by a guy pushing a double baby jogger'.
As I neared the turn around, I saw the leaders. I had been in the top 10 for the first half of the race and was hoping I could hold that position and maybe pick a few people off in the last mile which was supposedly downhill according to the website. I kept on trucking and my senses sensed something I've never experienced in a race. With the parade waiting to start, and many civilians waiting on the sidewalks, there were food stands here and there. Cotton candy, funnel cakes, hot dogs, all kinds of food along the route. The smell. Oh the smell. Usually I love it. But not what you want to smell when you're going balls to the wall running as fast as you can for 20 minutes, lungs burning and your brain saying 'let's stop and eat'.
I powered through the main section and clocked my second mile at 6:27, which was perfectly in line with going sub 20 minutes. I just wanted to give it my all for this last mile, no matter how bad it hurt. And man did it hurt. I could see one guy in front of me and really wanted to catch him. As we neared the last half mile, I could tell I was gaining on him. I hit a slight downhill and turned on the jets. I passed this guy with ease as I came up on the last turn to head to the finish.
I was in a state that I rarely get in. I could tell I was giving it everything I had. I rounded a slight corner and saw the clock and the finish line. Clock said 19:40 and I knew I had done it. I crossed the line in 19:52. I was relieved that I was done, but more so that I had broken the 20 minute wall. I've always considered a sub 20 minute 5k to be 'pretty darn good', and I can't believe I actually did it myself. Overall, obviously very pleased with my time.
I finished in 8th place overall and took first in my age group.
Coming into the finish area
Post race with my age group award