Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pound the Ground 5k/10k (Race Report)

Two weeks ago, on a hot and humid morning, I ran the 30th Annual Guthrie Gallop 10k in 46:59. It had been a couple years since my last 10k road race so it felt good to get that out of the way. This morning I had the chance to tackle the same course again, under far different weather conditions, at the 1st Annual Pound the Ground for Ultrasound. There was also a 5k race offered and I decided to double up and run both, another thing I have not done in a few years. There is a new 15k road race on the local calendar for this July and I thought the back to back 10k/5k would be a good simulation for the 15k.

The temperature was 55 degrees when the 10k gun went off at 8:00AM, a welcome change from the 9:00AM Guthrie Gallop start with temps in the 80's. About 35 runners lined up for the Pound the Ground for Ultrasound 10k, with another 155 waiting in the wings for the 5k about an hour and a half later.
The first half of the 10k felt more like a Valley Running group run than a race. The usual suspects to my right and left or just ahead of me, but also a chance or two to talk with someone new. I went out at a relaxed 7:07 pace, chatting up a storm, and remained there pretty much the entire race, except for a bit of a slow down into the 7:20s at miles 3 and 4, before hitting 7:07 again on mile 5 and dropping to 6:30 to bring it home over the last quarter mile. My 4th place overall, 44:26 finish was a strong 2 and a half minutes faster than my run of two weeks earlier. 
UPDATE: I did a little digging in my records. Today's time was a 1 minute, 12 second PR for me at the 10k distance. Previous best was the 2012 Guthrie Gallop. I ran no 10k's in 2013.

I had a short break while the rest of the 10k field finished to change my bib, put on a fresh (Hyner) shirt and down a couple Hammer Gels before the start of the 5k.

The biggest advantage of running a 5k right after a 10k is that any race jitters are gone. I'd already tested myself. The 5k would be relaxed. Okay, so maybe that’s not totally true. I had every intention of racing the 5k to the best of my ability, but with 6.2 miles already under my belt that meant settling for a pace a little slower than I might otherwise run a 5k on fresh legs. As it turns out that pace would be faster than 10k pace. I averaged 7:11 per mile for the 10k and 7:07 for the 5k, finishing the run up in 22:30. My fastest 5k so far in 2014 is a 21:18, so a 22:30 seems reasonable. In reality, I ran a 67 minute 15k this morning. I'm quite happy with that.

Highlight of the day for the 5k was hearing my friend Tracy's son Collin coming up behind me over the last quarter mile of the race. Collin, not yet a teen, has been running trails with us for a few years. Next year I expect him to crush most of the club, myself included, over the 5k distance.

Maria and Ann finally decided to run an official 10k. Maria had already run the Red Baron Half Marathon and Hyner View Trail Challenge 25k. Ann skipped from 5k to 7 miles at last weekend's Chief Wetona Challenge. Maria also doubled up this morning and ran the 5k.

Pound the Ground for Ultrasound brought a little bit of the trail running spirit to the roads with a BBQ chicken dinner, free to runners, provided by The Rail House, whose owner is a trail runner himself. In my experience it is rare to still have runners milling about at the finish line an hour after any local road race, but not so today. Dozens of runners hung out long after the awards ceremony to eat and talk. The only thing missing was the beer.....

...but fear not. VRC member Chris VanDruff invited club members to his house (which sits just about on the 1 mile mark of the course) after the race for dogs, burgers, pasta salad, watermellon, beer and more.

Today's Shoes: Merrell Bare Access 2

5k start

5k start


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