Sunday, September 29, 2013

Race Review: Park Ridge Charity Classic 5k

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Before I forget the details, I wanted to throw together a quick "Race Review" post on the 36th Park Ridge Charity Classic 5k. As you can see, the course is a nearly straight out and back and with pretty calm conditions and temps in the high 60s this race was a great opportunity to run fast.

Online registration and "packet pick-up" were a breeze. Scott Laumann and I picked up our packets just as they were set up around 6:40 am with no issues or waiting at all. The amazing thing about this race is that your race "packet" is literally a fantastic cotton race t-shirt and your race bib. No handouts or flyers, no goofy samples, and no bag! 

Being used to race packet inserts being sold as a part of sponsorship packages, this strikes me as a very interesting choice on the part of race organizers. I love how it contributes to the feeling of purity of purpose. The Park Ridge Charity Classic is a running race to see how fast you can run, build community event (all sponsors were local businesses), and raises funds for charity (though I'm not sure what charity they're raising money for). I'm not even sure if all these things are intentional choices or not, but it is great "marketing" in my book.

One of the neatest race shirts I've gotten in a while

Warmed up with a whole bunch of TTAU guys from the race start area to just a bit past the 1 mile marker for about 2 mile of total easy to moderate running. Did two quick strides at about 5k effort and walked to the line. Felt my left shin a bit on the warm up and even a bit on the strides, but once I accelerated to race pace, it seemed to subside.

Make a conscious decision to not get psyched out by the fast guys and trust that I had the fitness to run with them up front. At my all-time peak fitness, I've run in the low 16 minute range for 5k and even dipped below at a very small 5k with possibly questionable course measurement. Looking at past results, I saw the top runners were running between 15:40 and 16:00. If I was in the kind of shape I thought, I should be right there mixing it up for a podium finish.

Ran by feel, following Mark Wehrman from the gun. Rolled through the first mile at 4:59 (yikes!) with a pack of 6(?) including Jeff Hojnacki. Started to feel the pace a bit and dropped off the pack by about 3-5 seconds. Went through 2 miles at 10:01 (5:01 split), a PR!). Caught one of the Hurricanes guys as he fell of the pack with about 800m to go. Tried to break away but wasn't able to push hard enough. Caught Jeff. with around 500m to go, but got passed by the Hurricanes guy (Tony Teunissen). Finished 6th overall in a huge 5k PR. 5:49 for the last 1.1 for a final time of 15:50.97.