the jim fixx memorial day 5 miler followed on the heels of the long beach 10 miler i ran the day before. it served mainly as a tempo run and i targeted 35 minutes, a 7 minute pace. where the long beach race was new (and no familiar faces, save for seeing my friend rina as we were leaving), the 5 miler was a sea of friends. i saw kate as i pulled into a parking spot, and quickly met up with michael, sherry, and marty as i registered! then, waiting for the start, i saw emmy, john, neil, dan, bob, kraz, and ikuko.
the 8:15 start was a little unusual (i got there just before 7:30 - thinking it stared at 8). my "early" arrival seemed just as unusual, under the circumstances! the race begins on greenwich avenue and includes a nice elevation drop during the first mile. the next two miles are rolling terrain. the real challenge is mile 4, that holds 3 decent hills. the final mile has a nice downhill back along greenwich avenue to the finish at havermeyer field.
my first mile was a gravity assisted 6:54, followed by 6:48 second mile. while i was pleased with the 13:43 two mile split, that was probably too fast. mile 3, at 7:14, evened things out a bit with a 20:57 split for 3 miles. the 6:59 pace was right where i wanted to be, but wouldn't be staying there much longer! mile 4 tossed the expected monkey wrench in my plans. at that point in the race i had been just behind ikuko for the first 3 miles.
mile 4 kicked off with a sharp left on to bruce parkway - and the first of 3 climbs in that one mile. i took one look at that climb and slowed to a walk - until the guy behind me snapped me back to attention! "you can't walk yet!" (or something along those lines), he shouted. so i started running again. during the next half mile we switched roles, he started walking a hill and i pushed him to restart the running! and then i found myself starting to walk the last hill, only to be pushed on by yet a different runner!
i got my act together again after those two walking moments - but in a short race that's more than enough to blow a target. in a fitting twist, i missed the mile 4 marker! but i rallied for the last mile (and the downhill grade was no small help). the split for the last two miles was 15:07 - with at least 8 of those minutes spent in mile 4! my 36:04 finish, 7:14 pace, was well off my 35 minute, 7 minute pace target. but i was very happy with 4 of the 5 miles - so in the end it was all good :D
i ran back to my car to get my camera and managed a couple of shots of john and kate finishing. afterwards, had a lot of watermelon for breakfast! it was a beautiful sunny morning, so we hung around and socialized for a while. when the last of the 5 milers finished, the kids races went off on the cinder track. all in all, a great way to spend the morning!
here are some race photos.
next up: the nipmuck trail marathon.