Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wilma Rudolph 10k/5k Race Report

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  Today I ran the 5th Annual 2010 Wilma Rudolph 10k and 5k.  Yes both.  The 10k first and then the 5k. Instead of boring with you my normal race report conventions, descriptions and witty metaphors, I'm going to give you a general summary of both races, one not-so insightful comment, a quick list of deserved appreciation and two minor pissy rants. 

Summary:  The races were hot.  I tried to stay with the front pack.  I was feeling good and thinking awesome thoughts of placing.  I passed a couple of people early on.  I desperately held onto my spot through the middle.  I wavered in the last halves and slowed  I cursed myself for going too hard early on.  I dug deep for my final kicks.  I flailed across the finish line, happy to be done.  I'm pretty sure I cramped up at some point during both races.  Oh yeah, and the hard numbers:  3rd place award for overall finishes in both races (69.05 combined).  10k- 45:43 (7:22/mi), 9th place overall and 5k-23:21(7:32/mi), 7th place overall.  No PR's but strong finishes considering they are summer races.

One not-so insightful comment:  For context, understand that the fields in these races were relatively small.  I'm not sure that there more than a 100 or so racers in each race (last year, they had 110 in the 10k and 117 in the 5k), so there were no starting line corrals.  That being said, I still don't understand why slower racers line up at the front.  I didn't start on the line and I finished in the top 10 for both races.  Instead, I had a fair estimation of my time and lined up close to the front, but not to close to allow the faster racers a quick, unobstructed route to the front.  Or so I thought.  In both races, I passed a fair amount of people till I settled into my spots.  I might have attributed this to a way-too fast start for myself, but no one caught me (and I was looking for those sneaky bastards on the last miles).  I can't even say that it was due to my awesome running abilities, as I posted good, but not great times.  Maybe those people really believed that they would finish the races under 7:00/mi, but I find that hard to believe.  Dumbasses.

A quick list of appreciation:  I was really impressed with the support on the course and the number of water stops for a small couple of races.  The Clarksville Running Club really made sure that the runners had plenty of fluids and medical aid/support if necessary.  Along that line, the volunteers were awesome.  They were generally helpful and upbeat.  A special thanks to the volunteer that let me know (unsolicited) that I was in 9th place overall going into mile 5.  I was amazed at the number of door prizes that they gave away.  The local businesses and CRC members really stepped up with donations.  I know my wife appreciates the $10 Starbucks card that I brought home!

Two minor pissy rants:  First, this was not a chipped race, so the race officials were keeping up with finishers by writing down their order and time.  Apparently in the 5k some yahoo crossed the line either 2 or 3 times, helping to bring in her friends (I have nothing against pacing your friends after your done.  I did this also, but I wasn't dumb enough to cross the finish line again in a non-chipped race.  Think people.  Please.), and the officials did not realize this until they were tabulating everyone's place and time.  Apparently this caused havoc with the timers as they had to go through the results line-by-line.  They must have done this several times as it took nearly an extra hour and half to announce the final results for both races (the 10k results were already up by the time I finished the 5k).  Second (please be warned, this one will really make me sound like a whiny, ungrateful jackhole), I ran both races and finished in 9th in the 10k and 7th in the 5k, and as a result of these strong finishes in both races, I was kicked into a special finishers/award category.  A 3rd place award for my combined times in both races.  Pretty cool.  But...(there's always a but in a rant.  This time, the butt is me)  I should have also finished 1st for my age group in both races.  However since I got my 3rd place award, I didn't qualify for 1st place spots in the individual races.  I understand.  I got a nice award.  I did.  I'm proud of it.  It was nice to be recognized for doing well in both races.  I know this allows other people to win awards.  Yay.  (Here comes the butt).  The thing is I almost would have rather not even got the 3rd place award.  I'm competitive enough to admit that when I line up for a race, I want to do my best (i.e. win and gloat over my victory inspire my fellow runners).  So if I have the chance to be 1st, I would rather be 1st than 3rd (or the 2nd loser according to my 6 year old daughter)  overall.  I understand that I won't always win, so I guess that's why this one stings a bit.  Also I would have been okay with not getting the top nods, if I finished 3rd in each race.  But I didn't.  I finished 9th and 7th.  I've never been 1st before (and I'm still not, dammit), so not even getting a verbal recognition for that accomplishment at the awards presentation was kind of a kick in the balls.  Like I said, I'm just being bitchy.  Sorry.  Sigh.

Overall, though, I did have fun.  The course was challenging but not ridiculously difficult.  The field was a good size (it's nice to run a small race on occasion), and the volunteers were great.  And I did well for no PR's.  They are still two races that I look forward to running every year, but next year, I'll try to go a bit faster!  Later kids.


Julie said...

Hi Joel,
Holy crap you ran two races in one day!?! You are a running machine:) I think that you had great times! I have also gone out way to fast in the beginning of a race...I feel your pain! Nice work:)

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