Want to know how to win a 5K race? Easy: Enter a really tiny, non-competitive one.
1) Finish top 3 (✓)
2) Win (✓)
3) Run sub-20 (X)
It was a beautiful 51 degrees at 7am this morning when the race began in Long Beach. Jason and John joined in on the 5K magic while Larry showed up to cheer us on. So great to see some Becketites on the West Coast.
This small event is put on every week by a cool organization – Charlie Alewine Racing. They’re out there every weekend putting on small events – from 5Ks to marathons – running strong (pun intended) for over nine years.
This was an odd one… no music (I forgot my headphone charger), no crowd-induced adrenaline, no rabbits. I started off pretty quickly, aiming for a 6:30ish first mile.
At the mile mark, my watch read 6:32 and there was nobody within at least 50 meters. Despite my Run Gum, I wasn’t feeling great and decided I would maintain this current pace until the turnaround at 1.55 miles.
Heading back to the finish line, it was clear I had a solid lead and my focus shifted away from running a sub-20 time to ensuring that I walked away with the win (and walked away at all, for that matter).
The second mile was much slower – 6:49 – and didn’t feel as good as it should have. Still, I managed to cruise a 6:42 last mile and hold onto the lead for a win in the alarmingly-slow winning time of 20:47.
Luckily, I caught my breath quickly. I still had more in the tank, even though I wasn’t feeling great.
It’s probably an indicator that my overall 5K fitness isn’t much better than the 19:57 I ran last weekend on a tough course thanks to my two rabbits.
Still, if you pay to race, a W is a W, and now I can (somewhat) confidently say that I accomplished one of my 30@30 goals: winning a race. Finishing first is fun – even if its only out of 22 runners.
Most importantly, I want to thank Jason, John, and Larry for coming out and supporting me and this campaign. It meant a lot to me that they would come out and share this experience.
Next up: 1 mile indoors at the Armory in NYC on Thursday, March 1. The shortest race of the Campaign!