Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Race Recap: Striders WRC 5K

Event: Striders Winter Race Circuit
Date: 2/7/2015
Distance: 5K
Field: 692.

Map:  Oh, hell.

Why yes, that is ~300 feet of elevation in about a mile.  Yes, yes, it is.

Every runner I know warned me about this course.  It's straight up the hill!  Just when you think it's done, it's not!  It is not a PR course.

Oh, indeed, they are right.  The first hill starts gradually, and then you think you're done, and then you make a turn, and up, up, up you go.

The Winter Racing Circuit was started by the local running store, Striders, ten years ago.  It's intended in part as training for those that are planning to take on the Ogden Marathon in May, so there are many seriously talented runners out there on the course.

It was an unusually nice morning.  This winter has been so mild that as of the first week in February, my tulips and daffodils are poking up their heads.  February, guys!  It was nearly 60 degrees at 8AM on race day, but I fully expect Mother Nature will be all "fooled you!" and we'll probably have six feet of snow in June.

Anyhow, the race.

Personally, it wasn't great.  This past week I added in my weights routine and I was surely feeling the effects of being two weeks into a mileage build-up.  I wasn't fast, and I had to walk part of the hill.   I finished in 30:06, which is quite a bit over my PR, but I'll take 29/92 in my age group given how sluggish I felt.  I joked at the finish line that I'm counting this race as a separate race than a normal 5K.

I'm the one that looks like she's going to die if she doesn't pass Stripey Pants.

The race non-personally, however, was great.  Striders sold the circuit this year to the GOAL foundation, which also runs the Ogden Marathon, and support was fantastic.  The course was on the open road, and the Ogden PD kept everyone safe.  At the finish there was coffee and hot chocolate provided by Daily Expresso, and bananas and orange slices and granola bars.

I also really appreciated that the course stayed open until the last finisher came through, and the announcer gave everyone a heads-up about ten minutes beforehand so people knew to stay and cheer. Heather's experience in her half really gave me a great appreciation for how important it is for the back of the field to have the same experience as the front of the field.  And while it's less of a safety issue with a 5K, a 5K is also often the first distance a newer runner does.  Not good if the experience is being alone on a road after everyone's gone home.

So, props to the GOAL foundation, and the next race is the 10K, on the 21st.

Yes, there's another hill.

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