My third race of the year was a repeat of an inaugural event I ran last year, the Holy Infant Shamrock Shuffle 5K. Last year’s course was tough, with lots of hills, and plenty of folks coming forth from their homes to cheer us on.
And it was cold.
I’d seen this year’s course, and while I didn’t know the neighborhood well enough to know the terrain, I knew the course was… well… convoluted. So. Many. Turns. To say I wasn’t excited about running this new course is an understatement.
I showed up early (typical for me!), and found a food truck serving coffee. It was tasty, warm, and just what I needed to get me moving. I watched the Fleet Feet folks set up the start/finish line, and listened to the dj start the music. It was crazy loud, which I’m sure the neighbors of the race site thoroughly enjoyed! 🙂
And, the bagpipes were cool to listen to.
The race kicked off, I hit the button on my race watch as I crossed the finish line, and we were off. In fact, I was zooming. For some reason, I had some good energy, and tore up my first two kilometers (8:35 and 9:37). That’s crazy fast for me, and set me up for a great race time.
I would my way through the weird course. At every turn, it seemed like I was meeting folks that were turning in the opposite direction. It was very, very hard to get a sense of where you were in the course, and whether folks you were encountering were ahead of you on the course, or behind you.
I missed having folks cheering us along the course. While there were plenty of volunteers making sure we stayed on course (and were safe from traffic!), there weren’t many folks out cheering us along. I miss that.
Finally, I turned the corner back toward the race site, and crossed the line. I looked at my watch, and it showed I finished in 50:16, which was a terrific time, and about 50 seconds faster than last week on an easier course. I was thrilled.
There were plenty of food trucks around, so I got a bacon melt from The Meltdown. This was a delicious grilled cheese with American cheese and bacon on the inside, and a parmesan cheese crust on the outside. Exceptional! I paired that with a free beer (the best kind), and had a pretty good recovery.
I walked to the Fleet Feet booth to see my official time, and noticed that it was about 50 seconds SLOWER than the time on my watch. They claimed this was chip time — the time measured when the timing chip on my bib crosses the line at the start and finish of the race — but I believe this was actually gun time, which is measured from when someone says “go.” Since it takes a while for everyone to wind through the start line, gun time is always slower than chip time when you start at the back of the pack like I do. My Garmin is typically within a second or two of the official chip time, so I’m really confident in my 50:16 time. That’s the time I’m claiming!
So, another race down — the third in three weeks, with three more to come over the next three weeks. Next week is the Pi Day 5K in Columbus OH!