My taper plan had gone perfectly. I had run zero miles the past two days. My body was rested. I was carbo-loaded, fat-loaded, and protein-loaded, almost to the point of being b-loated. My mind was ready to throw down for 3.5miles and like Mr. T, I pitied the fools (not to be named) I was warming up with.
Before I go any further, there’s a reason why I keep coming back to this race, now 5 years in a row; and it’s not because my company supplies free food and drink for the night. It’s the course. It’s 1.75mile out on double then single lane beautifully laid tarmac, a 180⁰ turn, and 1.75miles back. There’s roughly 17ft (although some GPS’s read anywhere from 10-20ft!) of both vert and descent. This makes it ideal for fast running.
The course, being located right next to the not-as-polluted-as-it-once-was Onondaga Lake, there’s usually a solid headwind/tailwind which provides participants with the opportunity to be hit with both a warm summer wind and also bake in the hot sun. Unfortunately this year, the temperatures were in the low 60s so there was only a massive headwind on the way back.
Now to the race! After doing some strides, some drills, and listening to the national anthem, the gun went off! Immediately a pack of 10-15 guys kind of grouped together and then strung out within the next half mile. We were moving fast, but not out of control. I hit the mile in 7-8th place in 4:56 with a nice tailwind. I backed off the pace a little and opted to not take water at the station at around 1.2miles. I felt like I did a good job hydrating all day, but would not taking water come back to haunt me? There was still 65% of the race left. Would the returning headwind suck all the moisture out of me? I decided to keep positive and not think about hydration and just focused on getting to the turn around.
I moved into 5th place when I came to the cone signifying halfway and suddenly the wind hit me like a sack of potatoes. Luckily Andrew likes some taters and came up on me. I tucked behind him. A bunch of people were cheering us on and I could see Raulli up ahead all by his lonesome. It looked like the spuds were becoming too much for him :( . After about a half mile of me going back and forth with Andrew we caught Raulli. The top three were way out front and I was slowly closing on them. I made a surge and I was hoping they would stop and wait for me, but it didn’t look like they wanted to. I went through 5k in 16:10 and managed to come in 4th in 18:13 (5:12min/mile pace).
-Congrats to everyone who gets a finisher shirt before they finish the race. We all did it!
-Thank you to Knowles for providing our bright pink shirts and the BBQ from Limp Lizard.
-Thank you JP Morgan Chase for putting on the race. Despite my satire above it is a really fun event.
-I wore my Altra Instinct 3.5s and they were pretty awesome.