Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pepsi 10K

I made my Charlottesville racing debut today at the Pepsi 10K. It was a benefit for the Special Olympics. Thomas had told me that a kid who didn't make the UVA team this year was going to run it, but yesterday he told me that wasn't true anymore. So I had no idea how it was going to go because I don't know this scene yet. Driving to the race this morning, I thought it was strange that I was worried about the race. Aside from the fact that it wasn't important, when I flew to Arizona in January my plan was to win and I didn't know anyone there either. So if I could plan to win in AZ and not be disappointed to lose, I could do that here today too.

Warming up, I saw Matt Resnick! That was exciting and we live close to each other in Charlottesville. He said that I ruined his chances to win. But then at the line, I saw Dave Hryvniak and I conceded that I wouldn't be winning either. I didn't realize that he lived in town either.

The race starting line didn't exist and there was a big delay before we got started, but then we took off. Two bigger (i.e. stronger looking) guys went to the front ahead of Dave and me, but they only stayed there for a little bit. Dave started to pull away and another kid wearing shorts, a t-shirt and trainers moved ahead of me too. Mark and Charlie had told me that the first mile was largely downhill and faster, so I didn't see the need to push it then. They probably had 15-20 meters on me at the mile (5:18) while we turned around a cone. It was all uphill for the next mile against the crowd who didn't stay on their side of the road. We cleared them with a ways to go before the 2 mile and I passed the kid. Dave was pulling further away, and as we got to the 2 mile (5:25) I wondered where Mark was. I wanted him to see me in 2nd place. Our next mile was pretty downhill on mile 3 and 4 as I went past Charlie's old street. I started to gain on Dave after a 5:11 third mile and then passed him probably right after what I'd expect is 5K. He stayed on me for a little bit but then fell off. After going around a cone after the 4th mile (5:15), I saw that Dave was far enough behind me, but I didn't want to let up.

Runners were coming on the other side of the road so I pushed as much as I could uphill. Mile 5 was a 5:11 and I was shocked. A car came up behind me and I tried to let him pass but he didn't take his chances. The uphill just kept coming and I was really getting tired. I eased off a little bit and started making excuses about the hill, but got back into it after getting to the flat. There was a sign that said the school was coming up, so I knew I was getting close. There was no 6 mile mark, but I kicked it in once I got back to the parking lot. I finished strong and closed in a 6:15. That's roughly 5:12 pace for 1.2 miles, so I think I did well enough there. 32:37 for the win. Dave ended up 3rd, getting run down in the last few meters by the guy in the t-shirt.

It was a 22 second PR from the Monument 10K in 2010 when I ran 32:59 on a pancake course with a lot of competition and people to run down the whole time.

Pepsi 10K Results

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Race Photos