It's easier to just called this the Morehead City 5k. I saw neither the port or the fort as this course is all contained in the old residential area of town. My reason for coming to this was an excuse to visit my friend Stephanie and her baby girl Bowie. I wanted a test race and some speed training and this event fit the bill perfectly.
This is a small race with mostly locals but a few others traveled a bit taking advantage of a nice weekend at the beach. It wasn't too warm yet and the humidity wasn't bad at all for late Spring as I arrived early to pick up my race packet. I watched the start of the half at 7:30 which nearly caused me to miss some of my regular warm up routine. It wasn't a problem and I was able to get in my easy mile and just a couple of strides before rushing over to the starting line. Not too many people were eager to be up front so I lined up just behind a couple of fast looking young guys.
It was about 62F and the sun was starting to break through the clouds now as we began. Quite a few people went out at what I judged was probably too quick but I felt good and was happy with the stride as I settled in. Less than half a mile later we made a u-turn and already things were thinning out and I was passing a few folks. One that I was most impressed with was a tiny little girl that was motoring along at what I judged was 7:15 pace. It was another hundred yards later that I passed her and thought to myself, once she learns the art of pacing she is going to be tough ! Turns out she was 8 years old and held on for a 25:30 finish !
I went through mile 1 in 7:20 feeling good but had hoped it was a little faster. By now the field was spread out and there wasn't going to be too much passing going on. I was trying to hold steady and still felt good. Stride nice and smooth. I was a bit disappointed I slowed a little to 7:27 for mile 2. I was pretty sure I could pick it up a bit with just one more to go so I kicked it up a notch and the body seemed to respond.
What little bit of racing took place in that last mile. I was slowly gaining on a guy just ahead and I could hear someone trying to come up on my shoulder with half mile to go. I dug a little deeper but the guy ahead was pulling away and the one behind me was fading so nothing changed in the standings. The last mile was a 7:15 but the course ended up being a bit long. It was a certified course but the way they had the cones lining the route we were taking long sweeping turns into the middle of the intersections instead of running the tangents which myself and a couple of guys I talked to after the race agreed seemed to cost about 20 seconds. Final official time was 23:08.
To check on my theory I ran the course as a cooldown taking the tangents and came almost exactly to the 5k distance.
Speaking of awards, I was 1st in the age group and 10th overall. Had fun, was happy with the effort and the confidence boost that training is going well.
Later I met with Stephanie and we went for a 4 mile run. It was hot by then and I was tired !
Stay tuned. Next race is the big one in Alabama !