Friday, June 29, 2007

A little 5k

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 2; 11th Edition
287 miles raced in 2007
Race: Bluemont Park 5k
Place: Arlington, VA
Miles from home: 3
Course Difficulty: 3 out of 10
Course Enjoyability: 5 out of 10
Weather: 90plus degrees and humid
Finishers' Medal: N/A

My friend Liz Jones, a prolific and speedy runner (if I recall correctly she ran over 60 races last year and routinely is in the top three women in in any race she enters) told me about a little 5k coming up after work on Thursday.

Even though temps here in DC have been ungodly lately when combined with the humidity, I figured this would be a fun race to try. I more or less knew where the course would be run and it would be mostly flat.

So, after work, I hurried over to Bluemont Park in Arlington to join the NOVA runners club in a low-key 5k. Cost? $1 for non club members. How fun is that? Bib numbers and all!

There really is not much that I can write about a 5k. If anything it felt a little long (just about 5 or 10 seconds each way on the out and back) but then again, it might have to do with the fact that it was probably 93 degrees at the start at 6:30 pm! We started off at a park and immediately joined a running trail that I have been on a few times. Within half a mile we joined a trail I have run probably 100 times and I knew every turn of it. I also knew that right around the turnaround point there was a very short but very steep hill.

This race was more or less a chance to see if I had recovered at all from two tough June races and also a chance to run in anonymity. I told no one about this race. I did not want friends there I did not want good luck wishes, I just wanted to run. I also wanted to see what I have in store for me for my attempt at a mile PR in a week. I still think it is too soon to say for sure but I have a feeling it will be very hard to break 5 minutes next weekend. I just have not rested enough and have not trained for such a short distance enough to give it a hugely realistic chance. But I will still give it a shot!

After staying with the first two guys in the race for about half a mile, I thought perhaps I could catch them after the turn. But the hill got me and I settled into third place. I felt certain a guy behind me was going to pass me. However, when he simply stayed on my heels for about half a mile, pride overtook the heat and tiredness and I thought: "Well you are going to have to work for this one buddy."

Under a small overpass and back up a hill, the guy behind me was nice enough to shout a little "To the right!" when I almost made a wrong turn. We finished just a few seconds apart but I was able to hold him off.

There were only 26 race participants but it was still a fun night. The overall winner and age group winners got to take home little potted plants (provided by Andresa Hart of Northern Virginia Running Club) which because I took 3rd and the guy who took second was my same age, left me empty-handed. darn it! plants are pretty!

Here are the top 10 finishers.
1 Ted Poulos M 45 McLean VA 17:52 1
2 David Wertz M 31 Falls Church VA 18:03 2
3 Dane Rauschenberg M 31 Arlington VA 18:45 3
4 Ben Stanley M 24 Falls Church VA 18:47 4
5 Charlie Mercer M 37 Arlington VA 18:58 5
6 Rick Poppleton M 54 Alexandria VA 19:37 6
7 Bert Klein M 46 Arlington VA 20:35 7
8 Chuck Grasmeder M 36 Arlington VA 21:26 8
9 Mark Becker M 50 Alexandria VA 21:28 9
10 Elizabeth Jones F 30 Midland VA 22:03 1

They do this once a month and unfortunately I will not be able to join them in July as I will be heading to Washington to run a 189 mile relay. But if you have a chance, go down and give this little 5k a shot. they run south next month and I hear that part of the course is flat as a pancake.

And there was free watermelon!


Anne said...

Hot night for a race.

KMK said...

Wow! Only $1 to enter, a 6:30 PM start, plants and free watermelon? What more could you ask for in a race! Ok, not 93 and humid but other than that sounds like a great time!

I tend to prefer to run races alone so I often don't talk about them much until after.

Maybe I'll give this one a shot if I can get my legs to start cooperating again soon.

Yellow Scuba said...

Stealth races are good sometimes. You did a good job keeping this one to yourself. Congratulations on a good race in nasty temps! Yay for age group placement. :)