Due to my decision to run in the Fargo Marathon in a couple of weeks I had to miss going to the Promise Land 50K, one of my favorite ultra's. Skipping PL was probably a good idea anyway because I have not been running too well since Umstead and I would probably have had a terrible performance the way the weather turned so hot over the weekend. However that did open up a spot on the weekend to have some fun and jump into a shorter race, the Skirtchaser 5k. I haven't raced a 5k in about a year and a half so I thought it would be fun to see what I could do. Karla was pretty excited about the event because she loves the skorts and thats all she runs in these days. Karla and Frank arranged to come back early from the OBX to run and I made arrangements to leave work at TAF for a couple of hours to make it in time for the 5pm start.
I walked out of the store at 4 and immediately was surprised at just how hot it had gotten outside. I heard the high reached 88F, certainly the hottest I've run in this year. It was exactly one mile to the race start from the store so I ran over for my warm-up. I was happy to see Margo and Maureen had made it as well as Karla and Frank. Lots of other friends from the NCRC were there to run and quite a few that weren't running were there just to join in the fun and cheer on some of us from the NCRC Racing Team.
The format of the race was for the ladies to start at 5 and then the men would chase after them 3 minutes later. Cash prizes were paid out to the top 3 regardless of gender. Their were no age-groups for this one.
With about 20 minutes to go I warmed up another mile and headed back to the starting area. I was feeling the heat just waiting for the start and found some shade to stand in until after the women started. To make it even tougher the start is two blocks straight up a steep hill. The rest of the course would be gently rolling. Fine for a longer race but very tough for running all out in a 5k.
I had no one in particular to chase especially since the one I would preferred to chase couldn't enter so I told Karla I'd use her as my motivation to run fast. I started off slowly up the hill so as not to get into oxygen debt right away and then after making it to the top I settled in to a hard relatively comfortable pace. I had hoped to average about 7:30 pace for the race but with the heat and hills I was satisfied and even a little surprised that I hit the first mile in 7:48. After making the next turn I could see Karla up ahead and focused on catching her. I finally pulled beside her before the 2 mile mark and gave her a pat on the back and a "Hey Beautiful ! " as I passed by.
I hit mile two in 7:44 so at least I was consistent. The last mile was predominately downhill and I was trying to push as hard as I could. Just before the final turn there was a short, block long hill and I felt I was slowing to near walking pace before finally making the top and turning onto the nice downhill finishing stretch. I actually had sped up a little that last 1.1 and averaged 7:30 for that section and finished in 23:50 chip time. A bit disappointing in way because it was the slowest 5K I've run in the 9 years since recovering from my soccer knee injury, but considering my training, recovery from Umstead and the conditions and course, it wasn't too bad I guess.
Margo and Maureen were already finished and were by the road cheering for me and the others It was Mo's first 5k and she did great. Margo ran the exact same time as I did in 23:50. We waited for Frank and Karla and some other friends and then went to join in the block party with a live band, drinks and pizza. But I couldn't hang around too long because I had to run back and close the store before 7.
Here are the official overall results. You have to subtract 3 minutes from the mens times and these are gun times, not chip times. Too bad there weren't any age groups or I would have won the 50+ group.
I only regret missing my ultra friends at PL and at Crowders Mt 50K. Hope everyone there had some big fun.