We now interrupt our Umstead history series to bring you a short race report.
Racing a 5k a week before running a 100 miler is not the best way to taper I'm sure so I promised I would just run it for fun. I certainly hadn't planned on entering anything but when Margherita told me about this one to support the Corinth Holders High School chorus I decided to join in the fun and spend some time with her instead of my usual Saturday morning routine. Margo is one of the Angels and her daughter Gabriella is a member of the school chorus so I was looking forward to doing my small part to show support.
Of course it rained most of the night and was still pouring down when I woke up at 6am. A check of the radar online showed no chance of a break in the weather and it was very tempting to go back to bed and run some other time. I am tapering after all and they already had my entry fee but I decided to go ahead. At least it wasn't cold and maybe the rain would slack off a little.
The rain was not too bad when I arrived and I parked next to Margo and Tony who was going to run also. I checked in and then headed out for a 3 mile warmup at an easy pace on the roads around the school with a couple of laps on the track before heading over to the start. The course was mostly the one used by the high school xc team with the finish on the track.
The start was in a grassy area and we would be running in the grass with lots of mud and puddles and standing water for the bulk of the course. I got off to a good start trying not to push the pace too much. My goal was not to get hurt, fall down or turn a knee or ankle so I didn't want to push too hard. I just wanted to get in a good hard effort and have some fun. After half a mile or so we had spread out a bit and then we turned onto a rough gravel road for about a half mile out and back. I passed several younger folks that had gone out too fast and then the order was pretty much set for the remainder of the race.
I passed the mile in 7:40 and was pretty happy with that considering the conditions. Just about then I was passed by a woman and she would be the only one to pass me. Around 1.25 we ran up a very steep grassy hill that slowed me down considerably but after that the remainder of the course was pretty flat. I just concentrated on being careful trying to maintain a strong pace. There was no need to even try to avoid the mud and water because the course was saturated. Fun stuff. I was loving it and loving feeling so much better than expected.
Went through 2 miles in 16:00 for an 8:20 second mile and then just maintained until I hit the track. with 2/10ths to go. Nice strong finish in 24:58. Considering the conditions , I've done no speedwork and that I was just putting out about 90% effort I was very pleased with my time.
A very enjoyable run in the rain and puddles. Now I'm really tapering. Seriously. I mean it.