When I ran this race last year, I set a new 5k PR (22:46, 7:20/mi). Well guess what? Exactly one year later I set a new PR on the same course (you'll have to keep reading to find out my time). I didn't expect to set a PR today. I've had some good runs recently but I didn't feel like I had a PR in me today.
The 11:00am start allowed me to sleep in a bit (woke up at 7:30 instead of 5:00) and enjoy a leisurely morning with my daughter. After some pre-race logistics, we were off. I usually have a hard time racing the 5k. I either go out too fast and can't hold the pace or I go out too slow and have to speed up at the end. At the first mile marker, someone was calling out splits. As I came through, the marshal called out 6:53. I thought to myself, here we go again. I run a sub-7 first mile and have to slow down. I came through mile 2 just as the marshal called out 14:00. I slowed a little but nothing to worry about. As I'm approaching the finish line, I see the clock reading 21:47, 21:48, 21:49..I started an all out sprint desperate to achieve my sub-22:00 5k that alluded me last year. I looked down at my Garmin and I saw 21:55 and a 6:57/mi pace. I had finally done it!
I stuck around until the results were posted thinking I might have a shot at an age group award. There were maybe 200 runners and based solely on appearances, it didn't look like there were too many in the 36-40 group. I ended up finishing 4th in my AG, missing 3rd by 10 seconds. I was briefly disappointed but got over it. I had finally raced a 5k well and set a PR at my first race of the new year. Hopefully it's a sign of good things to come.
Happy New Year!