The Scandia Run has been one of my favorites for a few years because it is all that and more. I have done the 10k a few times now, but 2012 is the first year this race hosted a 5k distance.
Still just starting into my 5k training
After meeting up with Michelle and her daughter, I registered. Then I went off for a warm up and ran a mile slow, then hit a few short striders and did some drills I have been using lately. A little dynamic stretching and it was off to the start line. The10k racers had left 15 minutes ahead.
When the gun fired, I took off with the pack and let my watch settle into a 5:30 pace, then slow down to about 6:20. I had pace alerts set, and the darn thing kept beeping throughout the race. I don't mind that though; In the 5k, I can't afford to let my mind wander. There is no time to daydream!
We sped past mile 1 in 6:20, and around this point I had a guy pass me. My goal became to chase him and try to keep with him- pass him if possible.
At the water station, I passed by the cones and circled the painted turn around. Junction City is in flat farmland and this year the mint fields were not mowed yet.... They smelled FRESH in the morning air, and sprinklers were watering some of the lawns in front of large farm homes.
Still trying to keep up with my rabbit, we passed mile 2 at 12:50. The road was continuously flat...which can be good, but it also means you can see everything and everyone well before you get to it. I was still listening to lots of beeping. I refused to look at my watch.
Some friendly people walking and running cheered and I smiled (or tried to), as I passed Kellie coming the other direction. I was working hard, but it didn't feel like I had the right rhythm; at one point I felt a flash of nausea, but it went away quickly. I tried to focus on leg turn-over, rather than the gasping that comes from hitting a debt of oxygen. I need to learn how to race through discomfort...this was good practice!
We hit the corner for the final turn and I could see the finish line for what seemed like miles. I tried to remind myself to stay with the guy, but save something for the last 100 yards. As we got closer to the clock I could hear Michelle cheering, and read 19:3? something...Wahoo! PR city! The guy picked up speed at the same time I started my kick. (I WILL work on this.)
Crossing the finish line right after him, in 19:41, I caught my breath and went to congratulate him. I recognized him immediately- it was the man who had inadvertently paced me in the mile last year-- wearing a chicken head! (not wearing it this time though).
I said, "It's you! Chicken head!"
He smiled, (recognizing me- I hope) and I asked, "Tom, right?"*
Then we proceeded to talk about the distance of the course...
We both had our GPS watches read the course as short. (warning: small gripe) What is the deal with short courses? This is an EXCELLENT race course for our area. It should be plenty fast, even if measured over 3.1 miles/5k, but it is actually USTAF certified as 4.96K.**
Yes. 4.96K. Shouldn't anyone concerned over certification also want it to be the 5k it is listed as? Maybe I am just especially nutty that way.. I also like my courses not to be too long, either.
Fee: 20$ day of race without shirt
Fuel: oatmeal/banana cookie, coffee with milk, and about 8 oz of a mocha before 7:15 am, 8:15 race
Water stations: one that you can hit just before/after the turn around
Porta potties: Lots of them in the park, but lines get long right before the 10k start
Prizes: sweatshirts, Dari-mart gift certificates, cash prizes for 10k- but not 5k. Raffle for lots of other prizes, like hotels stays at resorts.
Other: located at a FUN Scandinavian festival with lots of crafts and food to see and buy.
This is a really fun, fast race -and hope to do it again next year. It was well organized. I was happy to meet my goal of improving over the 5k distance. On paper this looks like I PR'd, but working out the pace per mile over the short course, I ran a 6:26 pace- NOT the 6:20 pace on my "official" results. My previous PR was on a long (certified 5k) course and the official pace was 6:25.
It was a beautiful day to race, and God is so good to let me RUN like I love to. I am grateful for this body, this LIFE, and not taking a single race for granted. ever.
*Tom, if you are reading, I will NOT let you keep that lead next time!
**late edit- I received an email in March of 2014 from the RD that the course will be re-measured and accurate this year.