|A good clip!|
The race was a smaller one, with lots of kids participating, which I love to see, but since I had lined up right at the starting line I didn't need to weave through too many people as I made my way out to the front of the pack. In fact, after the first 50 yards, I didn't pass anyone else: all I did was watch the fastest five runners slowly recede away in front of me as I attempted to keep to a fast pace that wouldn't kill me. I thought I might be able to keep up for a while, but as you can see from my pace record, we were running at a six minute mile pace at the beginning which I just can't (yet?) sustain, and and after the first three-quarters of a mile, my heart began to hurt and so I slowed slightly and gave up my hopes of keeping up with the leaders.
The strange part was after this slight slowdown, I was running completely alone. Typically in races, there are other runners either passing you or that you're looking to pass, but not here! The runners in front of me finished a good 45 seconds faster while and the runners behind be were about a minute slower. So the race ended up feeling like fast a training run - albeit one that I was really opening it up. I missed having the competition of other runners around me, but I tried to keep the legs churning quickly and kept glancing at my phone to make sure that I was sticking to my target pace.
It all worked out in the end as I finished in 19:45, a 6:23/mile pace.(Results are posted here.) I got my PR and felt good enough afterwards to run around with the kids and even cheer on Hunter as he ran in an organized kids sprint of 50 yards. Looking forward to pushing myself to go even faster in my last race of the season - the Winter Classic 5K on 12/11.
Update: Results are posted here. The gap was bigger than I thought:
5th place: 18:45
Me in 6th place: 19:45
7th place: 20:57