aka "Arizona running is super fun"
I officially finished the 3.1 miles in 19:56 (6:25 pace). That is good for 11th overall place out of 149 and 2nd in my age group!
This race was a last minute add to my running schedule. I wanted to run a race early in the summer to set a baseline for my fitness to see how much I had improved during my training over the course of the summer. Well, that and I just can't get enough of those diced up bagel bits. Mmmmm. Like I said earlier, we all received an email stating that the race was going to be 3.44 miles long. I was honestly quite pissed. However, when we got there, they told us that it was indeed 3.11 (or, a 5K). It turns out that when they had went to click off the 'official' distance, a gate was closed. Now, how having a gate closed makes the race longer and not shorter - I'll never know.
My wife didn't come with on this race because it was SOOO early at a 6:30am start (I can't blame her a bit), so it was nice to fly solo for one. As a result, I was responsible for my own pre/during/post race pictures. I think that I got quite a few good ones. For example, here is a picture of the prerace crowd (about 30 min before the race started):
1st mile: 6:31
Since this was my first 5K that I've ran HARD, I wasn't quite sure how fast I should go out. So, I just decided to find a good group of people and run with them for a while. Hey they are:
2nd mile: 6:31 - how about some consistency!?
The second mile took us on a hard packed dirt path along a canal. I was able to hold my time and started to pass people. In fact, I passed all of the people except for one in the one mile picture above as well as this two mile picture below:
3rd mile: 6:22
I was starting to get substantially tired during this mile. I honestly wasn't sure how fast I was running, but I knew that it was fast. Possibly too fast? I was trying to hold a 6:40 pace throughout the entire race (which would have gave me ~21:00) but every time I'd look down, my watch would say 6:20. There were a few annoying (albeit small) hills (ok, not hills, maybe just mounds) along the lake, but I was able to grunt through them.
0.1 mile: 32 seconds. (Yeah, my garmin must have been a 'bit' long on those first three)
When I heard my watch beep at 3 miles, I looked down and saw that I was at around 19:20. "Oh shit" I thought to myself, "I am not only going to beat 21:00, I may beat 20:00!!" So, I essentially sprinted to the end to ensure that I would make it. The race clock said 19:55 when I crossed, but I'll admit that it might have actually been 19:56.
Here is a picture of me about 10 seconds after the race ended. I had to brace myself against a tree. When I pointed that out to my wife, she said "yeah, you normally have to brace yourself after a race". Yeah, after a race AND during "business time".
All in all, I am VERY excited about my finish. I was a full minute faster than even my best goal. The race was very well organized, was extremely punctual, and had great pre/post race organization. If this organization is what I have to look forward to with the Arizona Road Racers, I'll race every one of their events! The spread: