The Puppeteer asked me to find a local 5k race to do in October, so being a good student/athlete/lackey/brownnoser (delete as you see fit) I duly signed-up for the first running of the "Day of the Dead" 5k in downtown Raleigh and raced it yesterday morning.
The event was in support of the local Boys and Girls Clubs and it was encouraging to see so many people turn up early on a clear but chilly morning. Many of them sported costumes and face paint as appropriate for Dia de los Muertos - the (primarily) Mexican festival which is a celebration of ancestors and dead relatives.
I ran into a colleague and his wife and, after a warm-up run and some dynamic warm-up exercises we soon found ourselves at thye start line next to the NC State House. The course was a fairly straightforward "out and back" first heading north to the Historic Oakwood district and turning around close to the famous cemetary (kind of appropriate for Dia de los Muertos!). Flatter than the previous two 5k races that I have run, but still somewhat "hilly" none-the-less.
My plan was to try to run a reasonably even pace and I think that I executed pretty well. My primary "race thought" was to maintain a high run cadence and I think that I also managed to achieve this. To cut to the chase, my finishing time (according to my Garmin) was 22 minutes and 51 seconds. My splits were:
7:38 7:47 7:26
Felt good at the finish and recovered very quickly.
My official "chip time" was 22:49.5 which I am pleased with (6th in my age group and 57th overall male). For me that's is certainly a reasonable time, but I have a suspicion that the course may have run slightly short of the full 5k distance.
Given that I have the Outer Banks Half Marathon coming-up in a few weeks, I plugged this time in to the well known McMillan Run Calculator and it spit out an estimated half marathon time of 1:45:28. Sounds pretty ambitious to me and another reason for thinking that the course may have been slightly short.
Overall a very good morning and at least I didn't end up looking like one of these... :-)