On Saturday, I ran an 8K (4.98 mile) race near where my dad lives in northwest Iowa. The Humboldt, Ia "That Dam Skunk 8K". I couldn't make that name up if I tried. Shelly the Fire Runner was totally right.....with my recent smelly clothes issues, I would fit RIGHT in with a race with skunk in the title.
Time: 33:45 (33:58 accd to official gun results...but I trust mine more)
AG Place: 3/10
I decided ahead of time that I'd wear my free Sony shirt and Walkman as a test run during this shorter race because I will be forced to wear them during the Rock and Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. They both performed great (no chaffing....music in my ears).
Since 8K is a pretty random distance, I wasn't quite sure how fast I should run it. I knew that it would be somewhere between 5K (6:20) and 10K (est 6:50) but I wasn't quite sure where. So, I went to the trusty McMillan Running Calculator, put in my recent 5K time of 19:42 and it spit out a 6:30 pace. Whoa. I honestly would never have thought of running it that fast, but since I love to put blind faith into African Princes, people selling Viagra online, and any website that uses math, I decided to shoot for pretty close to what McMillan said @ 6:35.
Here I am at the start, zoomed in to show how many REALLY young kids at the race. Unfortunately, the race was littered like a Justin Bieber concert with high school and Junior College speeders. In fact, one college even brought a bus load down. I had lined up right on the line at first but nudged back a few rows once I heard a few of them talking about throwing down miles in the 5's.
I started out a little bit slower than I wanted to and, as I look at my splits, actually held a bit slower pace throughout the first 4 miles with 6:43, 6:52, 6:49, 6:48 for the first 4. The 5th mile, I really kicked it in, clocking a 6:17 minute mile to close down the race. Part of the reason I ran a bit slower I think is because the high school and college kids didn't really pace themselves very well. I started passing them around mile 1.5 and didn't stop until the finish. I'll bet I was around 25th place at one time but kept pushing and picking them off one after another.
Looking back, I am pretty sure that I could have actually ran the paces that McMillan said that I could have. Lesson learned - always trust the Internet. Solid advice, right?
In spite of my early fears, the race went really well. In fact, I think that 8K/5miles may be my most favorite distance to date. It isn't short enough to be an all out sprint like a 5K, but it isn't so long like a marathon that you are sore for weeks afterwards.
Here I am running at about the half. (Probably my most favorite running picture) Since my dad literally knows all of the gravel roads around this area like the back of his hand, during the FIVE mile race, him, my wife, and my grandpa were able to see me 4 times.
Putting on the breaks after finishing the race......after just getting passed by the kid in the T-Shirt with about 10 feet left to go. (Totally complained about this during my latest Podcast Episode.) Luckily, he was 18 so not in my age group. Like I told my wife, he might have passed me at the end, but I can buy beer. So there.
Whenever I've done small (150 people or less) races (two times)
- Watermelon was served
- I've won Age Group awards
Booty short clad cheerleaders cheered me on at every mile
- There has been a crap load of stuff given away
Probably one of the most funny things at the race was when my wife's uncle finished. He, of course, wasn't planning on running the race so he decided to walk the entire thing. Well, he came in *ahem* last. (not the funny part...kudos to him for finishing) Also, since my dad knows about everyone within a 50 mile radius, he knew the parents of the kid who won in 28 minutes.
So, behold, a picture of the first and last finishers.
This is a picture of the dam that the dam race was named after. Damn.
Finally, here is my age group medal. I tried to blow it up as much as possible without going to a ton of work. Luckily I didn't know before I started that the age group medals had a picture of a Skunk wearing sunglasses on them. If I did, I think I would have lied, cheated, and hitched a ride to the finish to ensure that I won one!