Today’s race was another of the Go! St. Louis race series, second of the three they’re holding this year. I’d been watching the weather, knowing that we’d had a tropical depression move over us, and that a cold front was to move through today. Last night, it looked like it would be 77° with sun at race time. As it ends up, it was cloudy, about 68°, and storms were moving across the northern parts of our area.
Siobhan had come up for Father’s Day, so all three of us piled into Darla’s Acadia, and headed toward Kirkwood. The ominous clouds continued to drop southward as we drove, and we could hear the thunder growing.
We found parking — which was pretty scarce! — at the start line. This race is a one-way, mostly downhill race, so Darla and Sio were gonna drop me off, and then drive to the finish line to meet me as I finished. Great plan.
George Sells from KTVI was there, and interviewing folks about the race, all the rain we’d gotten and whether we liked to run in the rain. He interviewed me and Sio, and that probably aired while we were at the site. There’s a piece up on their website, but it was after it was all over, and didn’t include our fifteen seconds of fame. 🙁
Sio and Darla decided to go back to the Acadia, and wait to see if the race was gonna go off. With the storm approaching, and lightning visible, it was a pretty good question.
Enter the rain.
And I’m not talking little sprinkles, I’m talking soak-you-to-the-bone-try-to-find-shelter-wherever kind of rain. It poured, and we lined up for the race. The horn sounded promptly at 7:30am, and we took off.
I was expecting this race to be kinda fast. It’s billed as the fastest 5K in St. Louis, and after looking at the elevation profile, I see why:
I took off at the gun, and began running. And, as I frequently do, I walked part of the course. However, I made it a point to run all the downhills. On two of those hills, I really kicked it up, and ran faster than I’ve ever run in a race. The cool thing was that one of them was as I was going to finish line. When a big ol’ overweight guy turns on the afterburners at the finish, the crowd absolutely starts cheering for you. That’s pretty doggone cool.
Typically, I shoot for less than 10min/km, although my races over the last year or two have been frustratingly shy of that.. That’s a 50-minute 5K, and a number generally just above all the time. In my splits today, they were ALL under ten minutes — significantly — except one segment. That’s amazing, and the first time I’ve pulled that off. And as you might expect with splits like that, I had a great finish time. In fact, it was the best race finish time I’ve ever had in a 5K, and the fastest 5K distance I’ve run in three years.
I get that I’m not all that fast, and my time isn’t exactly remarkable. But, to me, it was like I’d won the Olympics. And that’s the deal for me. I run “against” me, and sometimes have a great day doing it.