After debating about running this race for the past couple years, I decided to give it a shot this year to see where I am at fitness-wise (at least for a short, flat road race). Having only run the 5 mile distance in a race two other times, both of those on trails at the Woodland Trail Series in Uxbridge, MA, and based on the surface of this race being on pavement I figured I could attempt to lower my PR time of 33:26. Going into this race, which was a luxurious 11am start, I took a day off to rest and went to bed relatively early the night before (New Year's). Reviewing results from the past few years, the race looked very competitive with a lot of people's times under 30 minutes.
Thinking I would want to be towards the front, but not on the line proved to be a good plan as the field separated immediately, with Scott Leslie and Ryan Carrara taking off out front and a pack of guys following pretty closely. I tried to settle into a pace that would be something I thought I could sustain for the whole race and found that pace after about a mile and a half. The average pace ended up being around a 6:28 pace, with the first mile being a little fast (for me) at 6:09. I ran with another runner until around mile 3 and then passed him on one of the small rolling hills along the course. I then ran alone for the last 2 miles and tried to keep pace with the runner ahead of me. The last couple miles went by quickly and I was able to hold on for 13th place overall out of 316 starters.
|32:20, or 32:42? - either time was a PR for me|
Not sure why, or which is correct but my time was written down on the chart at the race as 32:20 and that's what I had on my watch (I stopped it after standing around for 20 seconds). It looks like from the results I have a time of 32:42, either way I'm happy with the time - I still took some time off my previous run at the 5 mile distance. It was great to have my family come out and meet me at the finish line, I owe my wife a lot for her support of my running hobby. After the race, I ran a cooldown with a few of the guys I follow on Strava out to a trail loop that I had found last year. It was good to finally meet them, I think they all finished ahead of my time in the race.
Full results here.
This race was a good indicator of where I am at fitness-wise and it became apparent that I will need to work some of these types of tempo runs into my routine. I would like to run a faster 5k time this year (last year's PR was 18:20), and I think it would be achievable on the right day with some specific training leading up to it.