It's been four weeks since my last race (the Spring Challenge); time for another race. N had a soccer game today as well -- the same activity that conflicted me out of the previous Uberthons race in mid-April, but I had already signed up for this one, and N's game was at 10 am, so my wife was able to get J up in time to be able to take both boys to the game.
Meanwhile, I got up at a leisurely time (8:15 or so), had cherry yogurt for breakfast, and fed N as well, since he got up around the same time.
The forecast called for temperatures in the low 50s, but it felt a little cooler than that, so I wore a regular longsleeve T-shirt instead of a tech T-shirt. Shorts were fine. I chose the Saucony Progrid Kinvara 2s for their lighter weight.
Like many Uberthons races, this one was at Cook Park in nearby Tigard. Easy to get to, easy to park, a great location all in all.
I arrived about 25 minutes before race time -- well, actually, more like 35 minutes before race time, since the 10K runners went first. I didn't have to wait to pick up my racing bib. (I'm guessing that many of the racers had gone to the pre-race pick-up on Thursday night. I didn't go because it was way out in Beaverton, but apparently that's close to many of the people with the organizations sponsoring the run.)
I jogged a little bit to warm up, and then lined up near the front of the 5K runners. While we waited for our countdown, the race organizers noted that one of the participants was Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett. Wow, I was going to get to race the law!
Here was the race course:
I've run this course two previous times, the Turkeython in late 2011, and the Luckython in March. Having run the course before should, I think, be an advantage, since you know what's coming up.
I got off to a fast start -- too fast. I felt okay as far as heart/lungs went, but my legs felt a little tight/heavy. Odd, since I took it easy on the legs the past couple of days.
Then I encountered a surprise about two-thirds of the way through mile 1: the course was somewhat different! In the course map above, you can see that at the bottom right of the map, the course takes a sharp right turn and then at the bottom of the page, does a quick turnaround. Well, in the other two Cook Park races, it wasn't such a quick turnaround. The route continued down a ways before turning back. Egad -- that lost distance was going to have to be made up somewhere else.
(Unfortunately, I didn't hold my lead on those two guys. They both passed me about 2/3 of the way through mile 1.)
I finished mile 1 in 6:43. Yep, too fast. I slowed down a bit for mile 2. Things got reversed a bit -- my legs felt good but my heart/lungs were laboring a little. Plus, the loop back at the top right of the map had the one hilly part of the course. All of that added up to a 7:14 mile 2.
Well, that wasn't too bad for 2 miles: 13:57.
I actually thought I picked up my pace for mile 3, especially since I caught up to and passed the guy who had gone out of the starting line. Apparently not, though, since mile 3 clocked in at 7:43. The only thing I can think of is that top loop was fairly brutal on the mind, since I didn't know how far it went.
(This was in the beginning of mile 3, I think. Former Iowa colleagues and students can note that I still have fond feelings toward the Hawkeyes!)
The last 0.11 miles took 43 seconds, which equates to just over a 7:00 pace, so I did have something left in the tank for a decent kick.
I finished 5th overall out of 97 runners, 5th out of 31 males, and 1st out of 7 in my age group. At other times, my age group has been brutally competitive (in the Spring Challenge, I finished 4th overall, but 3d out of 3 in my age/gender group). Not today, though, since I won my age group by over 5 minutes -- and almost 7 minutes if you go by age/gender.
Oh, and the Sheriff? I guess I'd be able to get away from him in a footrace. I think two of the four guys who beat me were his deputies, though.
Afterward, I managed to catch the end of N's soccer match. I got there in time to see him score a really nifty goal with two defenders failing to steal the ball from him. Unfortunately, I was some kind of Kryptonite to his team or something, because the other team proceeded to score three times in quick fashion. . . . Notwithstanding the outcome of that game, it was a good day.