I had a great time today at the Minuteman 5k. Everything was great with the exception of the race itself. Since this was a USATF circuit race with a decent amount of prize money, all the fast guys in Utah showed up, at least in the Masters division - Dennis Simonaitis, Steve Anderson, Neal Gassman, Bill Cobler, John Erickson -jeez, doesn't anybody ever take a vacation?
As you can see above, the race turned out to be substantially short. Apparently the police motorcycle pacer didn't know the course and took a wrong turn.With my current lack of 5k fitness I would have been better off had he added distance.
Anyway, from the beginning I could tell by my breathing that the fitness just wasn't there. I ran with Steve and Neal for the first mile which
I hit in 5:36. Steve pulled ahead on mile 2 and I tucked in behind Neal. I have never beat Neal in a 5k, so I figured this was a sound strategy. Neal ran a 14:08 5000 at the University of Illinois back in the 80s which is one or two seconds faster than me. Those who know me know that was a lie - about me, not Neal. It was on the second mile that the course SNAFU occured, but I hit my Garmin on the real two mile which was 11:12. A 5:38 mile, not bad. Still running right off Neal's shoulder.
"Mile" three (actually .86) was where disaster struck. Stephanie Talley caught me. She's one of the best local women and the wife of Corbin Talley, one of my high school coaching rivals at Davis High School. We turned onto the last half mile back towards the stadium for the finish, which was all uphill and I just mentally lost it. I just stuck with Stephanie into the finish. Covered the last .86 in 5:14 which is 6:07 pace! Finished in 16:27. Would have run 17:50 for the full 5k. I ran 18:03 in this race last year. That's something I suppose.
Of course Dennis (the best 45-49 guy in the U.S.) beat me as well as Steve. Neal got me by about 10 seconds. If I hadn't been such a pogue I could have hung with Neal.So I finished second in my age group and 4th in the masters division.
Tho dog tag medals were cool, all the Utah National Guard rock climbing stuff, helocopters, 155 mm Howitzers etc. were cool for the kids. Lots of good food and good conversation at the finish. Steve Anderson, who is a pilot for Frontier Airlines, had to jet off to Mexico almost as soon as the race finished, but his achilles seems better judging by the 5:08 pace he averaged.
Heading out now for an additional 10 to 15 miles.
PM: OK, I erased a little of the shame from this morning. Not so much for my time, but for my refusal to compete with more intensity. 10 miles in 1:12:16 (7:14)