Saturday, February 8, 2014

2014 Sweethearts 5K South Davis Recreation Center Run

To start off the 2014 racing season, I decided to jump into the South Davis Recreation Center's Sweethearts 5K in Bountiful, Utah - a Valentine's Day themed race.  The faithful reader my remember that I did this race last year and managed to place in my age division, netting a pretty sweet teddy bear.  Also, they generally have a generous post race swag: from the typical bagels and bananas as well as a high-quality finisher's medal to all participants.  For $15 you get your money's worth -- and an extra bonus if you place in your age division: a teddy ear".

They had predicted cold, wind and snow, but we lucked out with damp (but not raining) conditions with only negligible wind.  The air temperature was actually nice: in the low 40's.  After a warm-up of about 1.5 miles I decided to go with a long-sleeved tech shirt, shorts and my thin running gloves.  All around it was a good choice -- I was not cold at all.

The race started promptly at 9AM and the course is slightly downhill for the first 1.25 miles.  There was a very mild headwind.  I decided to go out fairly easy and not try to smash the first mile on account that the final 1.5 miles is mostly uphill.

I hit the first mile (the mile markers were all WAY off) at 7:11.  A little fast for my liking, but I still felt very much in control.  I rounded a corner to head back to the rec center and ran into the first minor hill climb and I just felt the energy fade from my legs.  I did wind up running mile 2 in 7:29.

After hitting 2 miles, the hammer drops.  You can see three quarters of mile in the distance and it is just a gentle climb that never seems to end.  This is also usually the point in the race where I get passed like crazy.  I am happy to report, though, that I managed to catch a person or two and held my own.  I wound up digging really deep and doing my best to give it all I had.

I ran the last mile in 8:08 and finished with a time of 23:27.  I felt like I had run a lot faster.  I was hoping to hit sub 23 on this race but it wasn't in the cards.  I am happy to report, though, that I haven't dropped off the edge of the cliff in terms of losing winter speed (my time was a few seconds slower than my Thanksgiving effort).  I have been somewhat diligent in doing my workouts this winter.

After the race I felt pretty good and got some warmer clothes on and re-ran the route, stopping to check out various spots.  I didn't finish in the "money" this time, which is a shame, as I wanted another teddy bear.  They did have a very nice finisher's medal and I do have the satisfaction of placing 4th in my age group and probably in the top 20 for men.

They haven't posted the results yet (as I write this) but they should post them here: results.

Me, Post Race

Race shirt + my bib

Weather conditions + the Bountiful Mountains

Finisher's Medal

Post Race - most people have already left

Post Race - most people have already left

Cool prizes

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