It was a rolling course, but downhills followed all the uphills, so that was coo'. I ended up running eight miles, and feeling pretty good doing it. Then I put myself at a disadvantage by going out to my friend's birthday party, enjoying myself too much and staying out late. I slept about five hours, got out to the Metro and waited for a train that ran pretty late and barely made it to the registration table in time. I took a short warmup and got to the line. I saw a few dudes in racing flats, but figured after gutting out a pair of marathons in the last five weeks, I could handle 5k.
Despite all of the kids on the starting line, the other guys in flats took the lead.
I can't remember the last uphill start I've had at a road race, but it helped me stay cool and hang behind three other guys. After the first turn I wound up alongside everyone else, and another minute in I started pulling away. The pack broke up then, and one guy kept chasing me. We headed down Williamsburg and I broke the guy behind me. I cruised from there- 5:14 first mile, 5:28 second mile, 5 something high for the first mile. The last half mile was on fine woodchips, a wooden winding bridge and some muddy and grassy hills. I looked to the left while on the bridge and saw the second place guy heading down onto the trail. I shut it down and cruised in, finishing in 17:15. Not great at all, but it demonstrated how slowly I ran the second half of the Run Against Cancer 5k, where I ran two seconds slower on a flat-as-heck course.
I grabbed my $100, ran to the metro, and caught up with Alex on the way to practice. We made it in time and ran around Teddy Roosevelt Island. I totaled 11 miles.
As it turns out, the Candy Cane City course was ridiculously short this year, and I wouldn't have made any money from it, so I ended up making the right move anyway. I also really enjoyed racing in the Falls Church area.
I got home and waited for updates on the Richmond
teams' races at the NCAA regional meet. I relied on Steve's Twitter account, and it didn't look good for the girls. As the guys took to the line, I hoped their improvement would continue with an extra 2k of course to cover. I sat back and watched the tweets:
The men are off to the races...
At 3k split...spider men in 5th as ateam...excellent
Llano...benford in top 6 at 4k...
Llano and benford still in top 10 pack at 3.5 miles...need our 4 &5 to hold on
Spider men hurting ...into 4th as a team at 7k...pain..serious pain!
wow...no one can imagine the excitement. these men ran their guts out. they welcomed the pain today!
Nothing for a while. I texted Molz- heard back "4th! We are dancing!"
More from Steve: We have to wait until tomorrow to find out if our men get the at-large bid to national championships...
Fourth place at regionals...unbelievable.
So, it's looking good, but not a lock. Llano and Benford were less than a second apart at 8 and 10. Quinn ran a hell of a race, absolutely awesome. Levi fought through some knee pain to run a great race and Wilson was close behind.
I hope to find a few other Spiders who want to make the road trip to Terra Haute if they indeed qualify as a team.
(All photos by Dan Petty)