Date: Saturday October 8, 2011
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Hotel: Best Western Kelly Inn & Suites
Weather: 59F, overcast, light winds
Official Results: 2011 Overall 5K results; 10K results; Half-Marathon results
Goal: 18:30 (5:57 per mile pace)
Actual: 18:03 (5:49 per mile pace)
Overall: 4th overall (695 total); 1st in 50-54 Age Group (16 total)
|Just 20 feet of elevation gain!|
|Course was a tad short, but time looks great nonetheless|
Last year I ran the 10K at this event. This year I opted for the 5K since there would be four Maas' running. Myself, the Boy®, the Well Kept Wife©, and for the first time ever......my Dad, age 70. With a race start of 8 AM, the four of us found ourselves warming up near the starting line. My Dad would be doing a power walk, as he has been walking up to 10-miles a day since retiring and moving from my boyhood home to West Fargo a few years ago. At least, he said he's been walking that much. It's all I've been hearing. So it was put up or shut up time.
With nearly 700 on the starting line, I told the Boy® to line up right behind me and take it out a bit faster this time. I asked the same of the Well Kept Wife©, but she started a bt farther behind us. I could see her. I could not see my Dad so he must have found a comfortable position near the back.
I eyed about six to seven potential competitors for the top positions. I was asked by one person what I wanted for a time and I told him, mid-18's and got a nod of approval. The race started and two young bucks took off like bats out of hell and there went the first two spots. I was hanging in a group of four people which splintered into two. I was left in the rear of that.
The day was overcast so it seemed chillier than it was. My legs were a bit stiff to begin with but we cruised through the first mile easily enough. I found myself in 6th place a bit after the first mile. I could see two people were slowing and I caught them a bit before mile two. I was also gaining on third place but then he (fellow Fargo Running Company race team member Chris Johnson) found his second wind and was able to maintain his lead over me.
There were a couple of opportunities to see the family as we doubled back on each other. The Boy® was laboring with his mother just a few steps behind. I think after he saw me he picked it up. I learned afterwards that he once again was suffering from a side ache. This is something we will have to work through.
As I approached the finish, I was surprised to see 17:55-56-57 showing on the clock. I kicked as best I could to try and muster a sub-18 5K but to no avail. As you can see per my Garmin result, I estimate the course to be about 0.04 to 0.06 miles short. Or about 14 - 16 seconds to my advantage. So, I still had a very good race and would have gone under my 18:30 goal easily. If you take the Garmin's 5:54 mile average and run against a 5K length, my time would have been 18:19. So, my best effort in years and years.
After finishing, I went back to the course to encourage the rest if the Maas gang of Four. First up was the Boy® who was looking better. There was a small incline before the finish as we went under a underpass and up again. Here I told him to shorten his stride, pump his arms, and to catch two boys ahead of him. This he did. I learned afterwards that he puked (so he said) after finishing so I know he gave it all. He was cooking pretty good. He was only a few seconds off his PR so after such a bad first half to the race, he really lit it up.
Next up was the Well Kept Wife©. The first words out of her mouth, before I could utter any encouragement at all, was "I hate you." Now, she really didn't mean this. She had read a Runners World article about Grete Waitz who told her husband she hated him and actually beat on him after running and winning the womens New York Marathon...her first....in world record fashion. Despite the verbal beat down, I still encouraged my bride to catch a few women ahead of her to which she flipped me the bird. Funny, though. She ends up running a PR and making podium in her age group!
I then ran back to meet my Dad. After what seemed forever, I saw him coming. His jacket was off and he was doing this half-walk half-run shuffle. He was looking pretty winded. He came up to me and told me there was a guy in his age group a few steps ahead and he couldn't keep up with him. Sure enough, there was a silver haired gentleman a few steps ahead. Apparently, these two were going toe-to-toe. My Dad would pass and the other person would jog a bit to pass right back. I told my Dad to let it go. This was his first race and he was just to W-A-L-K it. Not get into a Geezer Olympics. My Dad did listen and backed off and finished the race with a little trot. I'm not actually sure the finishers medal has been removed from his person since. And he made the podium in his first effort. OK, there were only three people in the male 70-74 age group but who is counting!
|The youngest Maas and the oldest|
|The Three Maas Men|
After the race, we had some prize money to burn. For us that made podium in our age group, we received a $10 gift certificate to the Fargo Running Company, which sponsors the race team that I now wear the colors for. I really enjoy this store. They have a great selection of racing shoes and spikes....the stuff that would make my mouth water when running in high school. They also have a great selection of cold weather running gear as I had stocked up on some things like year, like these Saucony sonicLite HD Wind Shield Gloves.
On this visit, I was able to meet Cley Twigg and thank him for the great race team gear. I even scored a new quarter-zip FRC top in my favorite neon green.....for free. Wow! Thanks again Cley! Going back to the incredible selection of shoes, I asked Cley if he might have a run flat in a size to fit my son. Sure enough, he came out with a couple of possibilities and we opted for the Brooks T7. This super flexible, lightweight racing shoe forms to the runner's foot for a great fit and feel, thanks to a lacing system that flows with foot. Built for the serious and efficient neutral runner, the T7 Racer provides just enough cushioning from 5k to half marathon and the silky smooth ride is exceptional for midfoot and forefoot striking. And if you are a sub 2:30 marathoner, this shoe should be on your try-on list. OK, the Boy® isn't going to run a 2:30 any time soon but he was thrilled to get these in time for his next race in a couple of weeks.
Lincoln Family Downtown 5K; Phoenix, AZ