Today turned out to be one hell of a day to celebrate my 3rd Run-aversary. The Run the Res 5K was the first ever race I participated in and so I use it as my running anniversary. This was the 6th year for the race and the third that I had participated in. The race features a 5K and 10K distance that circles around the charming reservoir in Fostoria.
The day started out waking up to a beautiful cloudless sunny morning. I wasn't feeling my best yesterday so I decided to skip my run and if I was feeling better I would do a few miles in the morning before my race. Well I was feeling much better with the extra sleep I got so I suited up and headed out for 4 miles close to my half marathon race pace. After I finished my run I sat down and ate, jumped in the shower and got dressed for the race.
Once Mandy and I got to the park I headed over to packet pick up and get warmed up for the race. It has become a tradition now that Mandy takes a picture in roughly the same spot as kind of a yearly comparison. Below is all three years prior to the start of each race:
Before the race began Mandy asked me what I was thinking about running, time wise. I wasn't really sure, I didn't think I had it in me to get a new PR for the distance, but I thought I could at least PR the event. The 5K and 10K races start together and at the 2.25 mile mark they split left and right to an out and back section before finishing back at where we started from. Once the race started I was feeling really good and was surprised to see I was hanging in the top 15 of all the runners. I was holding around a 7:12 pace when we hit the first mile when a guy passed me and the lady a few feet in front of me. I pushed a little harder and tucked in behind him, trying to stay with him. I keep wondering now if I could have pushed myself harder at this point, but when I was running I kept thinking I didn't want to burn myself out to early.
I came around the corner and saw Mandy there taking my picture and gave me a high 5 as I passed by. I headed up the small hill, where we split off from the 10K runners, still behind the same guy, but a few more steps behind. As we started down the hill I noticed a young lady in front of both of us maybe 25 yards or so, but what I didn't see was anyone else in front of her or anyone already making the return trip. It was at that moment I realized that I was currently in third place and couldn't believe it. The guy in front of me and I made up ground on the front runner and almost immediately after making the turnaround we both past her. At this point in the race I was about 10 yards behind in 2nd place when we started the climb back up the hill. Once we hit the top and started our way down, I used gravity as much as possible was able to be right on his heels. Just as we hit the 2.8 mile mark I decided to pour it on and make my move, hoping I had enough to hold him off. I glanced back when my watch beeped the 3 mile mark and I didn't see him, I had to look again and sure as shit he was nowhere in sight.
I came flying in to a bunch of volunteers that clapped and congratulated me for not only winning the 5K, but being the first runner back from either races. Mandy came up to me saying "you won, you won babe!" She later told me that while she was waiting for me a volunteer said "here comes the first runner back" and when she turned around she was stunned to see it was me and fumbled with her phone and wasn't able to get a pic of me. To be honest I am still in shock that I won, and I think I did because all the guys that were ahead of me were running the 10K, but I am not going to let that tarnish my race.
We waited around to see the official results and for the prizes to be awarded. According to the official results I finished in 22:20 which was one second faster than my current 5K PR, so needless to say this was one hell of a day. Here are a few other pictures from today's race.