Dry Run 5k
This is a small local 5k that is fairly flat with a few small inclines. One of the better courses to PR on in my area. Turnout was about 70, with a fair amount of decent runners since there was prize money involved. It might have been bigger but the Gamecocks played Georgia at noon, so I’m sure this took some of the crowd. Temps were OK, probably low 70’s, humidity not too bad. I arrived an hour early, as is my routine, but hit a snag when they said I hadnt preregistered. I was almost sure I had, but I guess the online transaction didnt go through. Luckily the race was in the middle of Columbia, so I was able to hit an ATM without too much trouble. Didnt like the stress though. I only did a mile warmup instead of my 2 miles because of the time. I was kind of nervous at the start because seemingly every decent 35-39er showed up for this one. One of the guys I knew I couldnt beat (Eric A), another (Darrell) has been my target for much of the past 6 months as the gap between us has shrunk significantly. He used to beat me by almost 2 minutes for most of 09.
With the gun, a fellow age grouper, Eric M, went out like a bolt of lightning and gapped me by probably 15 seconds very quickly. I went out fast too, and was just trying to keep Eric within a reasonable distance. Darrell was out even faster than Eric. I was concerned about my pace until I looked down at mile 1 and saw 6:11. That’s one of my faster 5k splits, so I knew I wasnt going too slow. Felt OK, though was already breathing hard. Pretty soon Eric M just completely bonked and I passed him easily, I imagine he might of done a sub 6 first mile. Darrell was still way ahead of me. Started to feel the hurt in the 2nd mile, but I knew there was a nice sized pack right on my heels. It felt like I was about to be trampled at any second. Hearing all those footsteps behind me definitely made me keep up the pace. Second mile slowed a little, but still at 6:26. I was really hurting in that third mile, but knowing I only have 1.1 left is a huge motivator for me. The course had a small half mile loop at its end, and this is where I decided to absolutely redline it. Passed the one guy near me and then saw Darrell up ahead. I pushed it as hard as I could and I knew he was fading, but he had just enough of a gap on me. He got me by 4 seconds, and I crossed at 19:40. Finished 6th overall, but had to settle for 3rd in age group. Got a nice glass as an award. Did 4 miles with some friends (including Darrell) as a cool down, 8 and change total for the day. I wanted to make a PR attempt but I’m always happy with any time starting with a 19. Went home and crashed on the couch, and thoroughly enjoyed watching the Gamecocks whip the Bulldogs.