First off, The Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation is a great cause. Like last year the start/finish line was located along Dan Wheldon Way at the Albert Whitted Airport in Saint Petersburg Florida. The organizers and police do a terrific job of getting the course set up, and blocking off car traffic. With that city coordination came with what appeared to be a last minute pre-race speech by the Mayor of St Petersburg Bill Foster. There was also an announcement to have the runners enter the box first, then the walkers/strollers next. By the time the race started (14 minutes after the scheduled time), the walkers had infiltrated deep forward in the box and log-jammed the start.
I’m trying to get use to this phenomenon, but it’s still a bummer to spend a minute walking 20 feet. After that I had to hop onto the sidewalk to run, since to run through the walkers would have been maze-like. To make up this perceived slow release I ran my first kilometer at a pace I wasn’t comfortable with, and I think it impacted the rest of my race. Totally my fault, I need to remember that these are also known as “fun runs.”
Once I got to the halfway point of the race, my internal voice kept telling me that I should take a walking break. I made deals with myself that I would take a walk break at 3 kilometers, once I got to that marker, I realized I wanted to keep running. These deals with myself came up again at 3.5 kilometers and 4 kilometers. Thankfully I was able to ignore them, and keep going.
Fun stuff: I found myself in a couple running duels with people. the first was a woman who had a decent pace, but her pace collapsed at the 2 kilometer mark. But another gentleman came up and passed me, then proceeded to move right in front of my path and slowed down. Not a big deal, since by this point the amount of people in our local group was small. I moved out and around and continued at my pace. I figured I would pace with this guy, then sprint past him at the very end. Around the 4 kilometer mark, his pace dropped-off and I continued on. I didn’t look back, so I kept imagining to myself that he was still right behind me, and I needed to deal with him at the end. In the last 400 meters of the race I had gotten closer to another pod of runners and decided they needed to be my competitors. Which is a tricky mind game to play because people usually pick up their pace once they see the finish line, and then they run away from you. This time though, I managed to have a very nice finishing kick (well for me it’s a “kick”), and passed a maybe 6-8 people just in the last 200 meters! Very nice!
Came in 87th overall, out of 600 or so people. (Race Results)
Not sure what race to enter next. The Komen is in a couple weeks, but that draws so many people, that car parking becomes an issue. The Creaky Bones is a decent 5k, but I just can’t bring myself to run a circle around the Pier to start the race. The Creaky Bones website makes no mention of the course layout, so I have to suppose they are keeping that Pier lap. Bummer. Which may make my next 5k The Purple Stride.
2012 Celma Mastry One Step Closer to the Cure 5k. 9-15-2012, a set on Flickr.