An “A” Race

I am sore today. I’m actually more sore today than I was after the triathlon, which is something of a surprise for me. Not a fun surprise really. More like the kind of surprise that makes you really, really aware of the fact that you work on the third floor of a building that only has bathrooms on the second floor.


Soreness aside, I am very pleased with the 5K experience. I met almost all of my goals: I finished in under 45 minutes (41 minutes, 32 second to be exact), I was not last in my age group and I ran the whole thing. It was a good race.


One annoying thing was that the 5K course had no mile markers and Michael had the Garmin, so I felt like I was running blind a bit. I wanted to try to have a steady pace, but no mile makers and no splits leaves me totally uncertain of how each mile went. My overall pace was 13:24 minutes per mile, which I am please with.


Overall the race was fairly well organized, except for one major incident. The race course crosses over train tracks with about .3 miles left in the race (the 5K, half marathon, and marathon all finish at the same place). I was at the finish area watching the half marathoners finish and waiting for the marathon winners to arrive when the course was suddenly empty. There had been a steady flow of runners and then…nothing. I had heard that the men’s marathon winner was in sight of the finish line and was coming fast and now…nothing.


It was a train. The whole field of half marathoners and the top three elite men were all stuck on the course, waiting for the train to finish so they could run the last .3 miles of the race. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must have been for the lead marathon runner to have to wait while his competition caught up to him.


Finally the train finish and runners poured down the straightaway. The three lead runners were at a dead sprint, though one pulled ahead and won by 5 seconds. Second and third place finished within less than a minute of each other. Exciting? Yes but totally poor planning on the part of the race director. How do you plan a race that crosses over train tracks and not find out when the trains are running? (edit to add: according to the local paper the race director did notify the train folks and the screw up was on the side of the train people, who have taken full responsiblity)


So, now on to training for the 7 milers next month. I’m a bit scared of that one- both of the distance and of the weather. November in Iowa= Brrrrrrrr.


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