Sunday, September 25, 2011

Race Result: 2011 Plymouth Firefighters 5K

Event: 2011 Plymouth Firefighters5K
Date: Saturday September 24, 2011
Location: Plymouth, MN
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 49F, sunny, light winds
Previous Results: 2008 - 19:36 - 5th overall; 2009 - 19:31 - 3rd overall; 2010 - 18:48 - 3rd overall
Official Results: 2011 Overall results

Personal Results

Goal: 18:30 (5:57 per mile pace)
Actual: 18:41 (6:00 per mile pace)
Overall: 3rd overall (359 total)

It was once again back to Plymouth Fire Station II in our hometown. The 3.1 mile course is laid out south of the fire station on neighborhood streets with gently rolling hills. Only one week removed from my overall Masters win in the Bismarck half-marathon, those hills felt like trekking the Rockies at altitude. But I really enjoy this course....and very short 5-minute drive!

Eleven city firefighter departments were represented. A moment of silence was asked for right before the start to honor all those firefighters who had lost their lives this year. Too many. Proceeds benefit the Plymouth Firefighters Relief Association. The run is sponsored by the City of Plymouth, Plymouth Fire Department and the Medicine Lake Run Group.

This event has perhaps the best starting line in the business. How can you argue with this?

Once underway, the runners are led by a firetruck with the occassional siren blaring. Very cool. And for race day the sun was sunny, albiet a very crisp morning. It was only 39F when I awoke but was 49F by gun time.

Lets get into the race recap. First up, the Garmin stuff

Plymouth 5K Elevation map

My splits for the race

I had used this nifty calculator to figure out what I should be running right now for a 5K based off my 1:25 showing at the Bismarck half. It calculated a 18:30 for the 5K. So, I went for it. What I didn't factor in were the legs still being dead tired just one week removed from the half. I never got into a comfy pace.

Mile One - 5:51

At the start line, I sized up 7 potential competitors. The air-horn cut through the morning air and I was immediately trailing some young buck that I had not counted among those seven. Didn't look at all like a runner....and sure enough, he faded quickly right before I attacked the first climb.

I held the lead for the first 3/4's of a mile and then was passed by eventual race winner, Peter Kessler. Shortly after I was passed by eventual runner-up, Scott Davis. And that's how the top three would remain. We went thru the one mile mark just separated by mere seconds from each other. And note those ages for the top three males overall: 50, 41, and 50! Take that and stuff it youngin's!

Mile Two - 5:59

I really wanted to get thru mile two under 12 minutes. I was very certain I could hold sub-6 minute pace thru two. Again, the legs were still drained by Bismarck. I've read that it takes 1 day per mile to properly recover from a race. So, I was in day 7 of a 13 day recovery. Not making excuses....just explaining that I was very uncomfortable during this event. I was laboring way too much.

But labor I did because I had another mission. The previous two years I had finished 3rd overall at this event. I had joked for weeks leading up to this event about the possibility of a Three Threepeat. I told the Boy® that if I found myself in 1st or 2nd that I would stop just short of the finish line to allow people to pass so that I could finish 3rd!

So, as I approached the 2-mile mark I was listening for footsteps. There is a sharp left hand turn right after the mark so I took a quick look. I could see a person about 70-80 yards back. Pretty comfortable margin, but I was not fairing well. Arms out of control. Breathing much too heavy for me. So, I attacked the next slight hill as best I could.

Mile 3 - 6:05

During this mile there are lots of twisty turns and such. As a seasoned runner, I know that one should try and open up a bigger margin right before and thru a turn so that when a person behind you next catches sight, they see you have gotten further ahead. Demoralizing. Take the wind out of their sails.
I simply retained a pace that was fluid and as relaxed as possible. I hit the last left turn before the homestretch and took one last look. Nobody. I had third in the bag. I actually started to chuckle. What are the odds of finishing 3rd overall three years running!?!?
Finish - 0:46
The Garmin ended up saying the course was 3.13 miles which equates to a 5:58.7 pace. I had wanted 5:57 so I'll take it. I wonder what I would have run with fresh legs. We'll find out on October 8th in Fargo when I run another 5K on a relatively flat and fast course.
This event gives out nice plaques for the top 3 male and female runners. I've got a nice collection going!
Next Events
Oct 2 (signed up) - Du the Bear Duathlon, Houston, TX 2mi run, 10mi bike, 2mi run
Race bike is already down in Texas with Texas training partner, Tim "Buckwheat" Carroll. I'm heading down to take on national caliber age groupers once again like I did back in January. More importantly, I'll be looking for a very high USAT Par Score to try and increase the slim chance I have of finishing in honorable mention range for duathlons nationally.

Oct 8 (signed up) - Fargo Mini Marathon 5K

The trio of age-group winning Maas' will be joined by the patriach. My 70-yo father will be 'racing' for the first time in a running event.

Oct 22 (signed up) - Lincoln Family Downtown 5K; Phoenix, AZ

We return to the Wyatt Earp shot gun starting race in our favorite place on Earth (well, the Well Kept Wife© would argue that is Great Britain but then this is my blog).

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