Race report: Hank Aaron State Trail 5K

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 9 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #11628


    What an interesting race. Tuesday, I came down with a cold and I was worried about how I would be on race day. By Friday, I figured that I dodged a bullet because the cold was very minor and I didn't think it would be a significant factor, if any. Then, Saturday morning rolled around. The good news for me personally was that the issues would affect everyone, not like having a cold.

    I got to the race pretty early, saw Jason Mayer there, and talked to him a bit before we walked over to find our team. Our team captain was arriving at about the same time as us so we all grabbed a table and set up. It didn't take long before the rain started. Fortunately, the table we were at had an umbrella so we were able to put that up and stay relatively dry.

    By the time the whole team was there and we were ready for our warmup, the rain was pretty steady. We went ahead and warmed up while I left my race gear at the table, where it would remain dry at least until closer to race time. After some easy running, I changed into my race gear and went out for some faster running and form drills to loosen up. I was feeling pretty well and ready to go as I headed to the start line and, while the rain was steady enough that my not long ago dry gear was soaked through, was feeling pretty confident that I'd have a good run. After everyone had lined up and we were all waiting for the start, a couple of the head people walked up and informed us that a thunderstorm was about to hit and the race would be delayed for 30 minutes, until 9:00. Everyone scattered to take shelter, I thought about heading to my car and maybe should have but instead I ended up standing, partly sheltered from the rain. The rain got pretty heavy, the wind began picking up, and there was some thunder but not too bad. At about 8:45, a few of us decided we needed to get in a second warmup or we wouldn't be ready for the 9:00 start. We headed out and, after turning back to the west, saw a big storm heading in. We high tailed it to the nearest shelter and waited out the worst of that while wondering if they would start the race in this while we were not in the area. They didn't start it but we made a quick dash back to the starting area when things got a little better to find out that the start was now delayed to 9:15. OK, wait a little longer for it to get better, then back out for a third warmup. Shortly after returning from our third warmup, we heard that the race was starting at 9:20. At least that gave me some time to loosen up again with some strides and form drills. Line up for the race, watch the big blow up start/finish arch blow over which delayed the start a little longer, and finally we're off…already soaked to the bone, in still pretty heavy rain, and now with a nice, strong wind.

    I got out pretty well off the line before quickly settling into pace at about 20th-30th place I would guess. By about 1/4 mile, I began picking off some of the faster starters. As we turned a corner to go south, I was in the back of a pack that I intended to pass pretty quickly. However, the headwind heading down this stretch was very strong. When tucked in behind someone, I felt like the pace was lagging. When pulling out to pass, the wind hit me and the running became much more difficult. Most of the way along here, I decided it would be better to let someone else take the wind. Toward the end, though, I began to move a bit.

    Around a corner and into an eastbound stretch where the wind wasn't a factor, I moved up some and settled into where I would spend most of the rest of the race. We hit the mile in 5:26 (I later found out that this marker was about 5 seconds long) and a few guys freaked out and took off when they heard this split. I just told myself it's not what I wanted but I just don't have it in me to go faster and let those guys go. I ended up seeing those guys later as they faded. Up a long, gradual hill, around the turnaround, and now I'm homebound. The wind, though, was an unpleasant surprise. My race plan was to really hammer the second half but the wind was just draining me. Back down the hill, I was planning on just rolling but it was a battle against the wind instead. By the 2 mile mark (11:03, again long) I was just so drained that I just couldn't do anything. There was a Performance Running team member (our big rival on this day) maybe 10-15 yards ahead of me and I wanted to get him so badly but I just couldn't do anything. Then, a different Performance Running singlet went by me (I later found out this wasn't a team member but I thought he was at the time). Again, I wanted to respond but I just had nothing to respond with. I tried my hardest to find something extra to go with him but I don't think my pace changed a bit.

    With about 1/4 mile to go, someone told me I was in 12th place. With the two Performance Running singlets now well ahead, I knew my only hope now was to maintain 12th. I brought it in as hard as I could and again probably barely changed pace, finishing solidly in what I thought was 12th place.

    Unofficial results had me in 10th place but the official results, depending on how you look at them, have me in either 12th or 13th place. I still think there are some issues with the official results, though, as they have me finishing in the same time as someone else even though there was nobody near me in front and the closest guy behind was at least a few seconds back. There was definitely nobody within a second of me. I also saw Jason finish and there were only two runners between Jason and me. My official time went down as 17:26.

    In the team results, InStep managed to hold off the Performance Running team in a close battle, largely on the strength of our first and fifth runners. It was a close battle through the middle of our scoring contingent.

    This race was an adventure even before it was scheduled to start, much less when it actually did start. I heard several people say that their times were off by about a minute. If mine was off by that much, I'd be very happy. I do know that the circumstances cost me some time and, seeing as for some reason I just can't break 17 on this course, I won't complain about being 25 seconds slower than last year.

  • #28157


    congratulations for your performance, i am sorry to hear that you  had to run in those awful conditions, but all in all, you did pretty well, i also noticed that you defeated dana  ;), keep up the work and keep doing well.

    how in the world there were people calling out splits every mile  in that conditions??

    what is your next race?

  • #28158


    Thanks. As for the conditions, that's a chance you take. Unfortunately, this year, it seems like I'm making up for the many dry races I've previously run in. When running a team event, though, one thing I will never do without a better reason than feeling soggy is leave my teammates hanging. Dana, unfortunately, had bigger issues than feeling soggy to deal with so, if you can say I defeated him, it would have to be counted as a forfeiture.

    I'm not sure how the people calling splits got to their positions but the volunteers generally did a great job showing how much guts they had to be out there just as you'd expect them on a much more pleasant day.

    Next race is most likely the Stout alumni meet. Get to lace up the cross-country spikes (if I can find them this time – I better make sure I can).

  • #28159


    when that race is ?

  • #28160


    Labor Day weekend, which I believe will be September 5th.

  • #28161

    Do I have to send you another pair of spikes?  😉  Not bad at all given that you stood around getting cold and wet beforehand!

  • #28162


    Actually, I'm thinking of breaking out those Nikes at the alumni meet. Back in the day, I loved the pair of those I had for cross-country racing. Sure would give me that old school edge. 🙂 I just have to find some cross-country elements to put in them. All I can find at the moment are 1/8″ pins. I'll have to head over to the local running store to get some spike elements to put in, need to get some new trainers anyway.

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