When I first started running, this race was one of my favorite 5ks. I ran it in 2008, 2009, 2010.
It’s funny how things have changed. AJH was trying to convince me to run a longer race. Since then I have completed 31 half marathons.
My 5k time back in 2010 was 29:34.
After 5 years off (from this race), I ran it again in 2015. And my time was 28:41. So things hadn’t changed that much (but I started to wear running skirts instead of shorts).
I enjoyed this race so much that I re-added to my summer racing list and ran it again in 2016 and 2017, lowering my finish time each year. (28:27, 27:37)
WouldI again this year???
Here is the map for the course that I ran the past 3 years:
Due to construction, it was changed slightly this year: The finish line was changed to 80 yards west on George St. so the start was re-located to 80 yards south on East Ave.
The race started at 8 am. That meant that I had to get up at 5:30. (And I was out late with friends the previous evening.)
This being the opening weekend of the Saratoga Flat Track, believe it or not there was already a lot of traffic at 7 am. I was glad to have left early and found parking in a nearby lot. (I was careful this year to park in the correct lot. Three years ago, I almost got towed.)
The new pick-up area was moved to behind the barn on the corner of Case & Mitchell, not too far from the old location. I picked up my bib and shirt and then went back to my car and watched the horses work out for a bit.
There were close to 1000 runners at this race. So I bumped into quite a few familiar faces: Sue, my Shape & Brooklyn half roommate, Holly and Nancy from the Freihofer’s group and Judy, my current Sat. runny buddy., Patrick, the director for this race and coach for my running groups, to name a few.
The weather was warm … around 70 at the start and HUMID but not quite as warm as it has been in past weeks.. I just hung around and chatted until it was time to head to the start. I continued to hang out and chat with Nancy, Holly and Judy and should have lined up closer to the start line since it wasn’t chip-timed. But I just wasn’t paying attention or cared at the time.
And so we were off.
Nancy is super fast and Holly is fast as well. Nancy took off and just disappeared, I tried to keep Holly in my sight during the first mile but then I lost her. I wasn’t sure if she was ahead or behind. I lost track of Judy, as well, who was behind me.
It seemed like everyone was passing me by…because they were. But as usual, my first mile was too fast. My plan was to have negative splits and but that never happened.
By the second mile, I was starting to struggle with my breathing.
It was warm but I have run in higher temps. It was the HUMIDITY. And it was sucking the life out of me.
I tried to run in the shade when there was shade and run the tangents (all 15 of them). I had planned to walk at the one water stop at the halfway point but I was looking ahead at the tangent and totally missed it because it was on the other side.
And as it turned out, my legs were tired, I was thirsty and I probably should have walked a little to catch my breath. I wasn’t looking at my Garmin at all but I could tell that I was getting slower at each mile.
By mile 3, I was fading. I think I say this during every 5k race recap. I guess that means that I should either start out slower or do speed drills to build up my endurance.
Anyway, I tried to get up enough energy to sprint through the finish line.
I crossed at 27:XX (Gun time).
It was actually a few seconds faster than last year which was shocking.
Then I searched for my friends and found them on the food line.
Several years ago, the refreshments consisted of bagels & chocolate milk. This year like last year, there was only watermelon & bananas. I had several pieces of watermelon, a banana and a granola bar. And I felt much better.
They posted the results pretty quickly. I was shocked that I won in my NEW age group. Unfortunately, Holly was 5th but Nancy and Judy came in 2nd in their age groups.
While waiting for the awards ceremony, I bumped into more runners that I knew (Michele, Judy) and they all got awards, as well.
I got a nice medal. It always feels great when you win an award.
All in all, this was a fun race. Besides all the turns, the race course is pretty flat. It is well-organized. Plus it raises money for a great cause (Special Olympics). So I plan to run this race again next summer.
mile 1- 8:27
mile 2 – 8:46
mile 3 – 9:12
.14 – 7:44
27:28 (Garmin time)
positive splits again!!!
I’m a sucker for swag and anything Central Park:
So this race will count but I will do the real thing in August when I am actually in Central Park.
Since this was Saturday and I usually do my long run on Saturdays, I had planned on adding 6 more miles after the race. But I was too hot and tired so instead I spent the day on our boat.
Since it’s Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:
Happy Running! How is your running going this summer? Any recent races?