Guest Blogger Trophy: Healthy Capital 5k – Columbia, SC – 3/22/14


I usually do the Healthy Capital – its a nicely done race and it’s usually a good trophy hunt. I got all excited in 2010 thinking I would win the race but a then unknown (to me) Mike Hedgecock came out and whipped my tail. Last year I would have gotten first male but some guy from California came out on a whim and left me for second again (actually third overall since Kenzie won first female). In any case, I signed up for the Newberry Half about 6 months ago when it was 35 bucks, so I had to miss the Cap this year. Trophy filed this report:

The Healthy Capital 5K was Saturday at Columbia High School . For those of you who don’t look, there were a lot of races on Saturday. This was a tough decision for me. My “Trophy” race was on Saturday as well. For those of you who don’t know, this is the race that led to my name. I went out to the big town of Swansea and ended up winning overall.  Not only that, I got a pretty good size trophy. The rest is history. I also won the race last year. It was close though, I only had like a 5 minute gap between me and second.

Trophy totally owns the Swansea Special Olympics 5k. Swansea city council has considered erecting a monument to his double epic wins in the race. Its totally under the radar and meets all the TH criteria – no publicity, rural, and competes with  multiple other more popular races. The trophy spawning the “trophy” nickname is completely ridiculous. You’d think he’d won Cooper River.

 So do I go back there or go to HC?  I picked the right one since Bedenbaugh decided to go out to the country and win a race. Whew. There was also a new race in Lugoff that I was pretty sure I could win and a West Columbia race that likely no one would be at. Most of the fast people either signed up for the Newberry Half a year ago when it was like $20 or they were racing while eating a burrito. Kudos to those who can run after eating a burrito. I can barely do anything after eating a burrito. So it came down to trophy hunting or running HC to see if I could get some age group points. It was very possible I could finish top 5 overall and still be 3rd in age group. I don’t know if anyone has noticed lately, but 35-39 year old males are obsessive when it comes to running races. We are like mosquitoes in the summer time. You can kill all you want, but they will keep on showing up.

I swear there are like fifty 35-39 guys in Columbia that can run a sub 20 5k. I’ve placed in the top 10 in a few races where I didn’t even place in my age group.

Oh, and hindsight is 20/20 but the Lugoff race was won by Sharon Cole in 22:12 and J-Lybrand won the Run to Win 5k in 21 minutes. Fast times by these ladies but alas, two chances at the holy grail (overall win) lost.

 So after all that I decided to go for points and because it was a short trip over to Columbia High School . I had run the race before so I knew the course. I get there early as usual to register and scout. Didn’t take long to figure out the pecking order. Team Brandenburg showed up, likely because they needed some spending money for their weekly trips to Boone. Talkington apparently didn’t have time to run the Half that he signed up for, so he decided to come run this race. Lucky me. Then I see Ken V, who is quickly becoming the next Blue Shoes. Dude shows up for every race. And he was racing Beaufort that night. The only good news was that Blue Shoes had signed up for Newberry and wasn’t here. So only two of the Three Amigos, as I have decided to start calling us. We all run near the same pace, race a lot, and lack color.

I upped the paleness factor to a new dimension by showing off the alabaster guns at Newberry. The black singlet made me look like Edward Scissorhands’ long lost brother.

A few other of the regular CRC runners showed up.  Ashley Horton, Alex Ponomarev, Meme, John Gasque, J Reeves, Pete Poore.  The biggest surprise of the day was the Old Geezer showing back up in Columbia to race! I’m glad I was there just for that reason. Been a while since the OG was in Columbia racing. He used to be a fixture on the circuit. Was good to see him back. Of course this was one more person that would likely beat me, but it was ok.

I was bummed I missed a rare OG sighting. The OG is almost exactly 20 years older than me and can still whip my tail. A legend!

 My main goal for this race was to beat my crappy time from St. Pats and to of course, beat Ken. I had run the race before and knew the course was downhill to begin, and uphill to end. Fun combination. The start was quick and off we go. This race is comprised of 70% kids, and of course a handful of them blast out the gate. Ken and I start off at a pretty good pace, but still behind the crazy kids and behind JB, the OG, and Talk. I figure this is the order it will end up in, but at the start there is a random dude up front trying to show his dominance. Had never seen him before.

 After a fast mile 1 I have pulled away from Ken ever so slightly. The people in front of me have dwindled as the kids start to…stop. I pass the last of them around 1.5 in and I’m now in a hole behind Talk and just in front of Ken. I know there is a nice hill at the end and I’m trying my best to keep a lead on him. I look back a couple times and see he is not far back. I’m thinking he will catch me in the last half mile. With a about a half mile to go I am gassing, so I might be right. I want to just give in and let Ken catch me and then who pops into my head???  The Blue Shoes! All I can think of in my head is how he will harass me for letting Ken catch me and then beat me.  Even when he is not around he is causing trouble. Sad that my first thought is what will he say to me.

Well, I would give him hell about that …if Vowles hadn’t completely dusted me in the last half mile at Judicata a month ago. I’m so far in the Trophy’s head that I haunt him in races I don’t even run. It’s my special psychiatric powers.

So I draw upon my inner Blue Shoes and summon the strength to keep up this pace and finish strong. You turn back up the hill with maybe a quarter mile to go. At this point I am still ahead and I’m catching unknown guy and Talk is not too far up. I hit the hill and figure I can power up this last couple tenths and it might hurt but I can do it. The end of this race is about as bad as they come. You go back up the nice incline you started on. Then for good measure you get to turn into the parking lot and then go up another small incline. I was pushing as hard as I could up the hill and caught unknown guy and then got to the corner of the parking lot. I look back and my lead is big enough. With that finish it’s almost impossible to put together any kick at all. I stumble across the finish and think to myself how bad my legs feel. On fire. I look at my watch and see my time and then see why my legs are on fire. The supposed .2 hill was actually close to .3. The course was a good tenth of a mile long. No wonder it hurt so bad and felt like forever. Clock time of 20:54 but figure closer to 20:10 or 20:15 if you make it regulation distance.

Damn you, Vowles. You repeatedly kick my ass this winter only to let Lady McGaha dust you at Healthy Capital? Oh, the shame. The original course, which is certified, was altered last year with a whole patch underwater due to rain. This led to a 3.2 mile course. Per JB’s Garmin they did the same thing this year: Trophy is also delusional about the hill..its the same in either the old or new course. But yeah, it does suck though.

 JB eventually stopped playing around and cruised to the win. The OG was a little bit back and then Talk and me. Ken passed unknown guy to finish in 5th. So 3, 4, 5, all in our age group. Awesome. Some unknown 19 year old won for females. Meme managed 3rd overall female and the better Brandenburg was not far back in 4th. I’ll let Alex run down the other age group winners.

 Thanks Trophy! Ashley squeaked out an 11 minute win in the 25-29. Brie McGrievy similarly crushed the 35-39. J-Reeves finished 2nd in AG behind Barb. John Gasque took the 50-54, while OG easily took the 55-59. The 60-64 was once again claimed by the dynamic duo of Alex Ponamarev and Pete Poore. Peter Mugglestone took the 65-69.

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