Sunday, October 3, 2010

Race Preview: FM Mini Marathon/10K/5K

Event: FM Mini Marathon/10K/5K
Date: Saturday, October 9
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Previous Results: First time at this event for me. 2009 results for the curious. Course map.

This will be our umpteenth trip to Fargo this year. My parents live in West Fargo, so any event we participate in gives us the chance to visit with them. We have been staying at the very nice Best Western Kelly Inn & Suites Fargo Hotel with very nice indoor pool and available suites. Plus, the morning breakfast is about as good as it gets.
And it doesn't hurt that the massive Scheels sports store is just a few blocks from the hotel. 196,000 square feet of sports shopping where I can also pick up some North Dakota State Bison merchandise. Being a '84 alum, it has been fun to once again wear the Thundering Herd colors.
On Saturday, I will be racing the 10K. The Boy® and the Well Kept Wife are doing the 5K. This should be fun simply because the event has now taken on a family affair. I'm more excited to see how they do than myself.
As for me, my goal is simple. I'd like to go under 40-minutes. So long as I can stay below 6:26 per mile pace, that should be doable. I'm feeling fairly cocky confident. It's been a long time since I have gone under 40-minutes for a 10K. The last time was February 19, 1989.
That was in College Station, Texas during the Texas Straight Shot 10K. After a week's postponement due to icy weather conditions, the 10K still drew the best runners to what certainly was the fastest TAC-certified course in the state. The course was a 106-foot descent point-to-point course. And we had to fight a strong headwind.
How did I handle the headwind? I, um, got on the shoulder of a very talented runner. I hung there until near the finish when I passed. Only, I felt very sheepish about doing so. The runner I hung onto was the overall female winner, Carol McLatchie.
My time, and personal record to this very day, was 35:37.21 (5:43 per mile pace). This was good enough to place me 5th in the male 25-30 age group and 24th overall. I did not make note of the total runners. But the field was deep. Think about that time. A 35:37 was only good enough for 24th! The event was won by Douglas Tolson in 30:13 (4:51 per mile pace).
Interesting side note from that event in 1989. The 10K meant the main drag (Texas Avenue) in Bryan-College Station had to be shut down. Hundreds of frustrated drivers found out they had to detour. Sixty-three complaints were phoned into the police. One man told officers that he was going to get his rifle and take care of all the mess on Texas Avenue. Lucky for all of us, he never materialized.
With my goal of going sub-40 this weekend in mind, I took a look at the male 45-49 age group from that race in 1989. I wanted to see how a sub-40 minute 10K would have fared. Not too well. First in that age group came in at 33:44, second at 36:07, third at 36:51, fourth in 39:43 and fifth was 39:52. Like I said, ton's of depth in that race. Ton's of depth in Texas. A sub 40-minute would have meant squat. An also ran. A wannabe. Not a contender.
Jump forward to Fargo. The 2009 winner in the 10K came in at 39:34. Second went to a female at 39:49. Third was a 40:21. There were 413 runners. And those were the top three times. So what will a sub-40 at this event buy me in 2010? If I do go sub-40 and place in the top 5 or top I even feel good about that accomplishment? I suppose you do.
Sheepishly though.


Mario said...

Unless its new, I missed that you have now Trade Marked the phrase "Well Kept Wife". Like it.

Matt L. said...

Good luck with your training and thank you for making our store part of your visit!

Matt L.