Official Time: 25:24
Placement: 29th male, 3rd in 45 - 49 age division, 35th overall
Race Website: Here
Weather: 80 degrees. Somewhat overcast. No wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First time for the 5K for this race. Half in    
|1||7:50||Off to a good start. A little crowded at the beginning but able to run my pace quickly|
|2||8:23||Way too slow!|
|3||8:39||Felt like I was going faster than this. It is a gradual climb here though|
|Total Miles: 3.08 - 25:27|
Now that I am back in Utah, I have been focusing on getting out there and doing some races here. Today's race took me to a familiar haunt: The South Davis Recreation Center.
The recreation center puts on a fantastic series of races throughout the year. They are usually well-attended, cheap, and I feel you get your money's worth.
In year's past, I have run the half marathon. However, my distance training hasn't been what it should be and I know from past experience if I haven't been doing my long runs a half marathon just isn't going to be a good experience.
Hence this year I signed up for the 5K. The 5K course is identical to their Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving Day run so I knew what I was in for.
The race commemorates the Utah settlers who entered the valley some 150+ years ago. So the whole race and atmosphere is pioneer themed. Apparently the settlers dragged their worldly belongings on a handcart, hence the race's name. There are exhibits and a small carnival and historical exhibit in the park near the finish line.
The 5K started at 7 AM and I rolled in just a hair before 6 AM. Fortunately, I was able to watch the half marathoners start and nabbed a few photos of the pack as they ran by.
I grabbed my shirt and bib in no time flat and managed to kill an hour before the race start. The race started right at 7 AM.
I was half asleep it seemed when the race started. I had warmed up a bit with some drills but nothing serious. It wasn't "Arizona hot" but it was warm. I just felt tired, but I knew once the race started I could bust out 3 miles.
Initially I was hemmed in but by the time I turned the corner onto the main drag, I could run at my own pace. I was working pretty hard but I knew I wanted to take advantage of the first mile since it was mostly downhill along a residential street lined with houses / apartments (and later in the race, small businesses)
I turned in a 7:50 first mile, which was exactly where I hoped to be.
After the first mile, the race makes another turn and there is a slight climb to the half way point. This hill always seems bigger in my mind and I think it got the best of me and I slowed ever so slightly.
I tried to find people to work off of and I thought I spied another guy who might be in my age division. I made it my goal to hang with him.
I was crestfallen when I hit 2 miles and saw an 8:23 mile. Way too slow. I figured I had some more in the tank and tried to pick up the pace. The final mile from 2 to 3, however, is a bit of a climb. While 70 feet doesn't sound like much, it is an extended hill that just wears you down.
The guy who I chose as my target maintained a better pace than me and was extending his lead (I never caught him) and I found myself battling it out with a loud-stepping teen and a father / son combo.
I figured I was going to turn in a fast mile but again, the hill got the best of me. I expected another 8:23 but after reviewing my Garmin, I realized I hit an 8:39. Eww.
I didn't have anyone tailing me but I dug deep and crossed the finish line around 25:24, which is where I pretty much expected to finish.
After the race, I grabbed some Gatorade, bananas (Organic!) and checked my results at the computer. 3rd Place in my age division -- sweet! Honestly, I expected to finish in the top 3 -- it was a small-ish race and most of the faster runners I suspected were doing the half.
The 5K finisher medal was pretty tiny. I think they had a bigger one for the half marathoners -- as they should. Their Thanksgiving / Valentine's Day medals are usually works of art.
I got a free pancake breakfast, which was actually pretty good. The shirt was nicely designed but the white shirts tend to show stains after a while. My age group prize was a stylized cowbell, which was kind of cool.
As usual, I got a good deal for my money. I got a swag bag, shirt, medal, supported course, post-race refreshments for less than $30. I definitely enjoy the race series and would definitely be back -- hopefully for the half next year.