Friday, May 1, 2009

where the wild things run 5k: race report

i hadn't heard of the "where the wild things run 5k" before friday afternoon, when emmy mentioned she had heard of a sunday race - earth day related event at the woodcock nature center in wilton. i was totally game to run it because i didn't want to spend $55 on race day registration for the lake waramug 50k. so instead of an ultra, we decided to run the 5k (save $30) and support the woodcock nature center in the process.

the nature center is a few miles north of downtown wilton, the site of the annual halloween hustle 5k (another great 5k that runs part of the course on carriage trails). there were about 60 runners lined up for the race - and plenty of kids for the separate fun run that would take place after the 5k. my only expectation, time-wise, was a sub-21 finish. about one-quarter of the course was on the trails of the nature center, the balance on the roads.

i met and chatted with the race director, mark, at the start. he mentioned that the danbury half would be expanded to a full marathon next year! that was news - a "new" marathon coming to town. after he briefed the runners on the course, he started the race and we were on our way. the first quarter mile was filled with high school students blazing the path, with only a handful of adults in the mix.

soon enough, however, the adults regained the lead :D the first mile was uphill and i was surprised to find myself up with the leaders - went by in 6:19. i had pushed the pace early, and only two runners had kept pace with me. i knew i couldn't maintain that pace for another two miles but neither, it turned out, would the others. the second mile, which included a pause for directions and another for water at the turnaround, took me 6:54. emmy had overtaken one runner and was in third at the turnaround.

the trail took up most of mile 3, and i picked up the pace a little with a 6:42. my three mile split was just under 20 minutes, 19:55. emmy used the trail to her advantage and overtook the second runner behind me! the final one-tenth took 40 seconds and i finished in 20:35, for a 6:38 pace. i had won the race! emmy finished behind me, second overall, and won the women's race!

we waited at the finish for the other runners to come in. after some bagels and water, we collected our prizes. instead of trophies, we each received a canvas gift bag that contained a woodcock nature center tee shirt, cap, and water bottle! that was very cool :D and, for next year, the organizers plan to expand the trail portion of the course.

here are my race photos.

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