Falcon 5K RR – May 2009
Arrived about 30 minutes before the gun. Already hot, high 70’s at 8 am. Not a huge crowd but I already see several known sub-20 runners, then I remember there are cash prizes for the winners. Two of the guys I know are 33 years old, which doesnt bode well for my age group. I try to refocus the race to concentrate on running a good time and placing in the top 10. I knew I wouldnt PR this course because of the hills, the worst of which is a series of brutal ones starting at 2 miles. Its a loop course so all the flat and downhill on the first half is given back to you. Race is slow to start and the gun comes around 8:45. The temp is noticably hotter and the sun is out in force.
FIRST MILE – Holding back quite a bit, I dont have a watch but feels about 7:30 pace. I draft behind a guy I know runs about 21 minutes. The no. 1 female is ahead and I decide to catch her as the guy I was drafting suddenly pciks up the pace. Having run the course two weeks ago, I know not to go all out before the killer hills. I pass the top female (I hadnt seen her before, and it turns out she finishes in over 23 minutes).
SECOND MILE – Feels pretty good at this point, its mostly flat or downhill, so I try to make up some ground. I surge ahead on a few turns and push the pace a bit, shooting for sub 7:00. I do slow down the last 400m or so in prep for the hills. I pass a few people.
THIRD MILE – Brutal hills. The first half feels good and I definitely notice the fact I didnt push the first 2 miles too much. The heat starts to get oppressive towards the top but I’m still going strong. I have to side step a kid who suddenly decides to stop and puke. This is the second straight time I’ve dealt with this and I really hate it. I reach the crest and I know its all downhill from there. I’m pretty spent at this point. Just me and 2 other guys now, nobody else within a quarter mile. I pass a 60 year old guy who looks 40 and is a ball of muscle. I know he always runs about 21-22 minutes and always finishes first in age group by several minutes usually.
The final stretch: 60 year old comes back and passes me! He is really motoring. I offer some words of encouragement and see the clock. I had an outside chance at breaking 22 but my kick just wasnt there after the mountain climbing on mile 3. Finished in 22:11, 8th overall.
I’m happy with the time – this was not an easy course and the heat was rough. Disappointed that I finished 3rd in age group because the 2nd and 3rd place finishers (around 19 minutes) were both 33. Can’t be too hung up on that stuff though. Still got a ribbon! lol.