Sunday, April 3, 2011

St. Timothy's Spring Sprint - Race Report

Yesterday was the St. Timothy's Spring Sprint - a friendly local charity event held at St. Timothy's School in Raleigh.  The Puppeteer suggested I find a local 5k event to do as a "C" event and this one fit the bill.  It was also a fun opportunity to run with the family (She Who Must Be Obeyed and the kids did the one mile fun run) and to spend some time with The Snitch and her family and some other locals.

Thankfully start time for this one was pretty civilized (9:00 am for the mile and 9:30 am for the 5k) and it's not too far from home, so no ridiculously early alarm calls were required for this one!  SWMBO had already picked up the shirts and race numbers, but I still had to collect my timing chip, so we were still relatively early arrivals.  We soon ran into The Snitch and Family and the kids soon found their friends, so we were able to spend some time relaxing and stretching before things got busy.

With the lovely SWMBO (she's scarier than she looks!) :-)
Mr. and Mrs. Snitch
The Crazy Gang

 For a small race the organisation was excellent.  Packet pick-up and timing chips were in the gym; there was a nice vendor area set-up in the school courtyard; a very professional looking finishing corral, complete with balloon arch and, importantly, an excellent public address system.

I went for a mile jog on Six Forks road to warm-up and didn't feel particularly special, but finally started to "feel it" a bit more after some short sprints and warm-up exercises.    Soon enough the milers were called to the start.  The Snitch was running for time, so she headed to the front while the other ladies in our party who were running for fun held back a bit.  It was an out and back course so I stayed at the start line to watch everyone go past on the way back to the finish.   The Snitch soon came back into view running strongly for third overall and first lady.

Go Snitch Go!

The other ladies all appeared in good time with smiles on their faces....

At least someone in tha family has good form!
Once the milers were all over the line and tucking into more breakfast the 5k racers were called to the start.  The race is part of the Second Empire series, so there were some serious runners as well as wannabes like me and many casual runners and walkers.   The course has the reputation of being the toughest in the series because it's unusually hilly for a 5k (I guess they don't call that area North Hills for nothing!).  The course is an out and back - here's the elevation profile for the way out....

The start was downhill, so I held back slightly to let the fast guys and some of the more enthusiastic kids take off, but soon found a nice rhythm and focused on high stride turnover rate, especially on the uphill sections, and "light feet".  Things went pretty well - the hills made things interesting but I kept things well controlled on the way out knowing that there were a couple of good hills still to deal with at the finish.  I made one mistake, which was to take a cup of water from one of the scout troops manning the water station.  I didn't need it (it's only 5k after all!) but stupidly took it and managed to get some "go down the wrong way" and had a bit of a coughing fit which gained me some strange looks from fellow competitors and probably cost me a few seconds.

I was soon heading to the finish and dealing with the final hill....

Not pretty, but putting in some effort on the final hill.
I crossed the line in a time of 24 mins 27 seconds, which I was reasonably pleased with given the nature of the course.   Splits for the first three miles were:  7:37, 8:31, 8:22 and overall average pace was 8:10.  I would guesstimate that the hills cost everyone a minute or so, so I'm going to declare victory and call it a pretty reasonable effort!

Overall a nice event and very well organised.

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