A little chilly and foggy on the drive over to Cary but after checking in it looked like it would be a nice morning for the race. I found Lisa and with about 30 minutes before the start we went for a warm up mile. By then the sun was shining , with perfect temps in the 50's so it was singlet running weather. Today would be my debut racing for The Athlete's Foot Cameron Village Racing Team.
A few strides minutes before the start and we were ready to go. I had noticed while warming up that there were some hills I didn't remember from running the 10K eleven years ago but was hoping the rest of the course may be flat. A look around showed there were probably a little over 100 starters (124 finished) and I didn't notice any really fast looking old guys. Looks can be deceiving though but I felt sure if I ran well I would get an age group award.
I was able to get off to a good start since there's a nice downhill for the 1st 1/4 mile. I used it to get up to speed and was very happy that the legs were feeling good and had some zip in them. Reached mile one in 7:01. I was hoping to be a little faster but that was fast enough to go sub 22:00 which was my goal for the day. The 5k course is an out and back so as we approached the turn around I could see everyone ahead of me and at that point I was in about 15th overall. As I began the return trip I saw Lisa coming. I thought she may have been a little closer the way she has been running lately but she looked comfortable.
My hope that the remainder of the course would be flat was not to be. Although there were no really big hills in the middle of the course there were several small ones and at 5k race pace they hurt and make a difference. I was a little disappointed to hit mile 2 in 7:21. I was still feeling good but I knew now my time goal was not going to happen. No worries though. I was still determined to run as fast as possible and beat as many people as I could.
Just past the 2 mile point a young lady passed me but I couldn't go any faster to respond so I just dug in pushing as hard as I could. As we reached the half mile to go sign it it was now time to have to payback the fast start with the hardest climb on the course back up the hill to the starting line. As expected it hurt, had me gasping and groaning and slowed me down but I knew once I reached the top it was the turn for home and a 2 block downhill finish.
As I made the turn I could hear someone coming up fast behind me. I didn't want to get passed but I was already going hard and didn't want to sprint. Fortunately with about 50 yards to go the footsteps faded. I looked back after crossing the finish and saw it was a teenager. So I finished in 16th place overall, 1st in the 50-59 age-group with a time of 22:29. Very happy with the effort and placing.
I waited for Lisa to finish and then after a little water and catching our breath, we went to run our cool down. That was fun because we ran back onto the course with the 10k runners that go right by the 5k start and run the 5k course for the 2nd half of their race. Our cool down pace was very close to the pace of the runners in the race at that point and because of the out and back we were able to see and cheer for all the runners in that one.
Overall a very good morning.It was nice to see many friends and acquaintances , many which also placed in their age groups. Lisa was 2nd in hers.
Here are the results
On to the next one which will be the Tobacco road Half Marathon in 2 weeks, a last tuneup before Boston