Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Weather: 69 (race time) and beautiful
Official Results: 5K results, half-marathon results
Official Time: 20:09 (6:30 per mile pace)
Garmin Time: 20:09 (6:12 per mile pace). Note - course was 3.25 miles
Overall: 10th (367 total); top 2.7%; 1st in 45-49 male age group (12 total)
|Getting our awards from Wyatt Earp|
I know, I know. First thing you are wondering "Brian, how can you run a 18:48 last month and then have a 20:09?" Two reasons.
One, the course was long. My Garmin read 3.25 miles which is significantly above the 3.1 miles of a 5K. Take the 6:12 pace and equate to a 5K and you have a 19:15 5K. Upon reflection I'm happier with this result than the 18:48 last month.
Which then takes us to reason number two. I will just provide a illustration.
|244 feet elevation gain!|
At the starting line I spied about a dozen people that could take the race. I knew this would be challenging. After the shot gun blast by legendary Wyatt Earp to start the 5K, the field quickly thinned to about ten runners and that broke into two packs of five about a quarter mile in. My plan had been to try for a 18:30 5K and achieve that by starting hard and then trying to hold on.
I kept glancing at the Garmin throughout the first one-half mile. 5:20 pace, 5:30, 5:45. It was looking good. Then we started to climb. Again, furtive glances at the wrist. 5:55 pace, then 6:20, then...gulp...6:55. I was sucking air and we were still climbing. Look at my splits. I go from 6:01 to 6:41 to a 5:56 (downhill, of course).
That hill just kept going and going. But the turn-around eventually came. And the old knees and hips held together enough for me to stretch it out. About a half-mile from the finish Tom was there to challenge me to pass a couple of people in front of me, as I was in 10th overall at that time. And that's where I would stay.
|From the official results page|
Well, at least I can say I negative split the race! No one needs to know why.....ha! Here is the Garmin information and map for those interested.
The Well Kept Wife™ told me ahead of this event that she did not feel ready. And Tom's description of the hill had her pondering a K2 type of summit. And she woke up race day morning with a crick in her neck.
The Boy® trained in his own style again. He got in two training runs over two weeks leading to the event. What can I say? He's schedule between piano, swim team, and scouts....and toss in 5th grade homework...is just like pulling a full-time job. During warm-ups he developed the dreaded side stitch and it was clearly bothering him. I took some time to help attempt to work it out with him. He said it didn't bother him during the race but I could see it did when I was with him at the end, cheering him into the finish chute.
Regardless, they made me very proud.
As I was climbing The Hill, I kept worrying how they would be faring. On my descent, I was surprised to see them running together. The Boy® had stayed ahead of the Well Kept Wife™ during the 5K in Fargo. So either my son was hurting, or my wife had gone out too fast. But they seemed fine as we exchanged family pleasantries.
After I finished I immediately trotted back towards the race to catch-up with my friend Tom and to cheer on my family. First came the Boy®. He was laboring and holding his side. I ran with him and he finished strong, passing two people in a furious sprint to the line.
|My son's time and placement|
Again, I trotted out and was pleased to see the Well Kept Wife™ turn the final corner. I was greeted with the Italian middle finger salute. I knew she hated that hill. We ran in together and she did very well to finish again on the podium for the second straight event. This was her second race ever. Eight seconds out of first in her age group.
It was later that evening that I got the, "You know, I should have won," statement from her. She was in first at the halfway point. Now she has some time to recover and think about next year.
|My wife's time and placement|
Packet Pickup - Pickup was at the famous Runners Den in Phoenix. Voted one of America's top ten running stores and the "Best of Phoenix," Runner's Den has been a pillar of the Arizona running community since its doors opened in 1978. Runner's Den is a pioneer in customer services, such as individualized gait analysis, injury avoidance/prevention clinics and group training seminars. While there, I got myself a new race hat and the Boy® was thrilled to receive a new pair of running shoes (Brooks). He even got a first class lesson in the importance of untying shoes before removing and how to tie a proper double knot from salesperson Craig. Craig, from the Midwest, has run over 180 marathons (2:28:14 P.R.), and has a 50 mile best of 5:37:23. The Boy® has been properly removing and tying his shoes ever since.
Grade - A+
Suggestion - None. This was sweet. The staff was fantastic. All three of us walked out with merchandise and couldn't have been happier.
Volunteers/Amenities - The volunteers at the park were great. Not quite the cornucopia of volunteers you see at a triathlon, but for a run the numbers were strong and helpful. But, no port-a-potties! There were only two park rest rooms open and while there did not seem to be a dearth of long lines I think some people were rushed, etc or thought they might miss the race. Could it hurt to have a dozen or so of our green cubed friends?
Grade - B
Suggestion - Just repeat in 2011
Run Course - Held at South Mountain Park just south of Phoenix, the course is on a paved road in a desert setting. Views are stunning. As above, the 5K course was challenging with the elevation change but not harsh. Just had some unexpected bite to it. I am only knocking down to a B due to the distance being off. For a race of this size and standards, it should have been spot on.
Grade - B
Suggestion - Measure that course for accuracy! 3.25 miles is way off from the true 3.1.
|King of the Mountain inside South Park|
Grade - A
Suggestions - None.
|Our awards from Arizona|
Post Race Food - The Well Kept Wife™ had me add this category after her first event in Fargo. She was surprised by the junk food offered after the event. What do you think she said when she saw Dunkin' Donuts being offered up after this event?
Grade - D for Dunkin' Donuts!
Suggestions - To be fair, bagels and bananas were also offered. But really, donuts?
Overall - A very nice race within a great closed course venue. How can any race in Arizona go wrong? Thanks to my buddy Tom for biking out to the event to see us run. It was nice to see you Tom!
Next Event - November 14 at Bronda's Du (USAT), Fort Worth, TX. This will be a 2 mi run, 15 mi bike, 2 mi run. It takes place at the Texas Motor Speedway!