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Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: W&OD Trail 5k
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2009
Location: Falls Church, VA
Race Type: Run - 5 km
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 0:19:28
Overall Place: 13 / 369
Age Group Place: 2 / 60
Comment: Where'd that come from?!?

Race Report:

My cousin invited Karen and me to participate in this race near her house, and to the party afterward. I decided to hold off until last minute (day of) to decide if I'd race. I decided yes despite the drizzle.

Why I thought I wouldn't do well:
1) Wined and dined clients all week in Bermuda, including a 3am bar hop on Wednesday night.
2) Not well trained at all. Hadn't run longer than 6 miles all winter, and infrequently.
3) Ran every day in Bermuda, so not tapered.
4) Goat curry for dinner the night before!
5) Non-competitive mood at start of race.

Why I did well:
1) No idea.
2) Guy on my heels for final mile.

We arrived at the race site at around 2:45pm for the 4pm start. This was because we hadn't yet registered, and wanted to spend time with my cousins...who didn't show until after 3:30.

Anyway, despite the misting of rain, we decided we were there and it would be a fun race. So we paid up and got #389 and #390.

Before the race, I did maybe 1/2-3/4 mile of warm-up but felt like I was relatively ready to go. This might have been because of the afternoon start - I'm much better later in the day.

Everyone lined up on the narrow W&OD trail, so the line stretched back quite a ways. I mosied my way up to about 10 "rows" back, figuring there'd be at least 25-30 people faster than me on this day. I was wrong.

After a horribly sung (but quaint) National Anthem, we had the bugler call to the races, then a wait, then off we went. I walked until the timing mat, then took off at a good clip. I immediately backed up to some slow runners who shouldn't have been anywhere near the front of the start. I weaved and dodged my way around a bunch of them, periodically glancing at my Garmin watch to see the 5:45 pace which I couldn't maintain.

Then I settled into a rhythm, switching my breaths from every three strides to every two. First mile 6:16 pace. Wow. I think I can't keep this up, but let's see what I can do. Get to the turnaround, didn't count how many ahead of me (leader was a blazing Kenyan), and just kept pushing. 6:33 second mile. Slowed down a bit, but still pushing. It's starting to hurt now. But then I hear the footsteps behind me. No way am I letting this guy catch/pass me if I can help it. So I gradually increase pace to try to break his will. Still hear the footsteps. Keep increasing pace gradually. With about 1/4 mile to go, I notice the footsteps getting a bit more distant but I can still hear them. So I keep increasing pace to an all out sprint the final 1/10th mile.

19:28?!? Are you kidding me? My PR is a 19:21 and that came almost a decade ago (in a tri).

I could barely stand at the end, but I held off the guy behind me who also turned out to be in my AG. 13th overall, 2nd in my AG (after the first two took 2nd and 3rd overall awards), and a great sense of accomplishment.

Maybe I found my pre-race meal? Unlikely.