Sunday, June 06, 2010

Andrew (AJ) Johnson Memorial 5K

Everybody knows the best way to train for a 50 miler is to race a 5k the week before. Right? Well, maybe not but for some reason I had the urge to try another 5k. Since last June and my focus on marathon training I have improved my 5 k time every race going from 23:26 last June to 21:33 last month which was my fastest since Oct 2005. This is without doing any training for racing 5k's so I am happy to see the speed improvements. Now I'm curious to see how much faster I can get at the shorter distances as a GrandMaster but that will have to wait. But for now I was hoping to see if I could possibly get close to that 2005 time.

Well I should have known better than try on a hot humid weekend like we had today. With the late 9am start, the sun bearing down on a cloudless muggy morning there would be no fast times for anyone. I chose this race because its a short drive from home, has a relatively flat course and it is for a good cause. It is a memorial for Andrew Johnson , a firefighter that was killed and the proceeds go to several relief groups for Fallen Firefighters.

I arrived early and walked from the remote parking area to the Archers Lodge VFD where the race would be held. It was already in the 80's and I was sweating just walking to the registration area. Not a good sign. I did a 1.25 mile warm -up and wasn't feeling too zippy then did a few strides and then lined up with 113 others.

I was surprised to pass the half mile in 3:19 because I didn't feel that fast. I had heard it wasn't a certified course so i was wearing my garmin and the half was dead on. Got to the 1 mile and was already slowing down to 6:57. As I approached the turn I saw Raleigh friends David Meeker and Kimberlie Fowler running in a lead pack of four with two teenagers. Gave them a cheer and pressed on.

Passed mile two which was also exactly 2 on my garmin in 14:16, a 7:19 mile and way off my hoped for pace. The last mile was pretty much painful suffering as I tried to maintain as fast a pace as possible. I was able to at least get under 23 with a 22:47 final time, so it was still about 45 seconds faster than last June and I was able to grab 2nd in the 50-59 age-group. Final Garmin measurement was 3.07 so it is probably very close to being a true 5K.

In fact everyone I knew at the race won something. David was just out kicked by one of the kids and was 2nd overall. Kimberlie was 3rd overall and first female. Crystal Moore won her age-group, Val Price won the 60 to dead age-group and a young man that is a new runner and just joined the NCRC, Jordan Duvall was 3rd in the 20-29 group. Interestingly, he runs in the Vibram 5 fingers and has never run in regular running shoes before.

So anyway, despite the suffering in the heat, the pain was short-lived, I had fun and got in a good run.

Here is a link to the race.

and here are the results.

No pictures form this one but they will have a lot on the website I'm sure.

On to the next one.

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