Monday, March 19, 2012

Sharin' Of the Green 5k

One of the weirder things I found out when I moved to the United States for the first time was that Americans love to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I was in Ann Arbor Michigan for my first St. Paddy's day and I honestly had no idea that people celebrated this holiday with such vigor. Green beer, green rivers, green everything. Really? I've come to accept it, but as a Brit still refuse to embrace it. Nonetheless, I did find myself toeing the line at the annual St. Patrick's Day race here in Fort Collins. The race has grown to become one of the bigger ones in town, with a capacity crowd of 2,800 runners this year.
Chatting with Steve Cathcart, owner of the local Runenrs Roost, pre-race. All pics: Kevin Hurd
The course was a bit confused with 8 or 9 hard 90 degree turns, one of the them just 20 meters from the start, and a slightly long inbound turn thanks to the large numbers of runners as the course doubled back on itself, but I'm sure they'll tweak all that for next year to accommodate the numbers they apparently did not anticipate for this year. Course hiccups aside, the event appeared to be a huge success, and how could a race that finishes at one of Fort Collins' premier breweries (Odell's) not be, especially when they're serving up free beer?

Race start outside ODell's Brewing.
So anyway, after a 6 mile warm-up with Sarah, it was a sprint for the first corner. With that negotiated without incident it was time to settle in. I found a spot in fifth, ten meters or so behind Steve Folkerts, and tried to get working. The legs felt decent, but for whatever reason I didn't feel particularly zippy. Seeing my first mile split at 5:20, I knew this wasn't going to be the low-16-minute race I thought I was in shape for. I got lazy on the second mile, which popped at 5:26, before getting passed by Mark Saunders who I had beaten in January at the Frost Giant 5k in Estes Park. That woke me up a bit and I fought to pass Mark back, before trying to get to work reeling in Steve. But I just didn't have a whole lot to give. Having put a decent gap on Mark, I figured I was good for fifth, but ended up getting kicked down right on the line, which I crossed in 16:46.  A PR, but a disappointing one. After crossing I turned around and boom, there was training partner Mike just five seconds behind; a solid PR for him. Sarah came in a minute later for an altitude PR of 18:30.

With .1 to go
Rule number one of running and racing is that there is no bitching when you score a PR, so I'll end this report here. Finished up the morning walking in the parade with the family on the Fort Collins Running Club 'float.' The crowds were deep with kids begging for candy and necklaces, which we had in abundance, so it was fun to watch Alistair distribute in as fair and measured a manner as he thought appropriate. Fort Collins is breeding. I can't believe how many kids there were in the crowds.

1 comment:

  1. You can totally complain after a PR if you were shooting for faster...