I had been telling myself the whole week before this race that I was going to PR. It's been 5 and half years since my last 5k PR, and I want a new one! And this would be a good race to do it with it's flat course that I have done the previous 2 years. It was going to happen.
My brother-in-law, who has run this race with me the previous 2 years, and I left early enough to get good warm-up in, but when we arrived, there was seriously one car in the parking lot, and the organizers were still getting everything set up. It was cold (36 degrees), but I wouldn't have expected the temperature to scare off this many runners. After the warm-up, we came to find out that we were an hour early. Oh well. We got in some extra miles since we needed to warm up again.
At the real race time, there were about 300 runners on the line. We made our way to the front and waited for the start. Historically, the start and finish were the same, but this year, the start was moved up a ways, and the finished was moved back. Not sure why.
The course runs out of the park, and then along a canal to the turn-around and then back again. I got off to a good start and settled in about 10 place by the time I got to the canal. I was feeling really good, but I didn't want to go out too fast and run out of gas at the end. When I reached the turn-around, I discovered that they had moved it about 50 feet further down the path. When I turned around, I was at 9:50. I was hoping to be around 9:15. I thought, "No wonder I'm feeling good!" I was going much slower than planned, so I started picking up the pace. I had moved up to 8th place, and started picking the runners off. I managed to get one right after the turn, another about half way back, and one more in the final quarter mile.
After taking a look at his Garmin, the course measured 3.19. I know they're not 100% accurate, but I know I ran faster than a 19 minute 5k. Assuming the course actually was 3.19, I ran a 5:57 pace, which would equal an 18:29 5k. That's five seconds faster than my PR. Too bad it's not official.
Adam's virtual/actual 5k race on the same course. Hopefully he's using more accurate measurements!