I kicked off my racing season last weekend with the Race Judicata. And because I like to be difficult, I didn’t just do one race, I did 2! See this race is both a 5k and a 10k and you have the option to do both, back -to-back. Also, it’s in one of the hilliest parks in the area. Seriously, check out the elevation profiles! It’s not for the faint-hearted or weak-quads.
5k – Course profile – 25:34 – 1st AG
I learned a good lesson, don’t take a caffeinated gel at the beginning of a race. I took off like a maniac and fortunately was able to recognize it early and slow my roll for the big hills (and second race) to come. I think I managed the race well having trained the course for a couple months. At the start of the race, I was passed by this woman with a name on the back of her hooded sweatshirt. I finally overtook her (and chicked a bunch of guys) on the long hill after 1 mile. I guess she stayed pretty close behind me because at 1/2mi left, she passed me and we ran together for a while. Finally on the last turn I decided to see if I could pull ahead of her and did. I couldn’t tell what her age was, but didn’t want to lose a spot in a race I’ve trained hard for to someone wearing a hoodie. I finished in 25:34. Not a PR, but only 1 minute off my PR on a flat course. And came in 1st in Age Group (thanks to overall winners, love them)!! I’ve never come in 1st in running since I was a kid!! I got a nice thermal lunch bag printed with the race logo on it for my AG win. Oh and turns out hoodie girl was only 16. So yeah, I’m more than twice her age and still took her out!! Yeah!
Also, did I mention this is my first race of my new age group? (In running, I’ve been this age group in Triathlon already thanks to USAT rules). Pretty sweet to get a podium finish in my first race in that age group. Getting older pays off sometimes.
Then about 30 minutes or so later, after changing my shirt and switching my bib numbers, I lined up for the next race.
9.2k – Course Profile – 50:21 – 4th AG
This is traditionally a 10k, but the volunteers had the turnaround a little too soon. Also, after training this course for 2 months, I still managed to miss the fact that there was a turnaround. It threw me off when I saw people running back towards me after 3 miles, but apparently everyone else was thrown off that the turnaround was in the wrong place. I think I managed the pace well on this one too. Only took one regular gel at the beginning of the race (was too scared to take another caffeinated one after my near heart attack at the start of the 5k) and really wasn’t feeling really up to taking another during the run. Fortunately since it was short, I wasn’t really ready for one yet. At the very last couple tenths of a mile an older (60s+) guy caught up to me and started sprinting and yelling at me “don’t let me beat ya, c’mon” so we raced it in at the finish really hard and strong. Sometimes you don’t think you have it in you until someone calls you on it. Finished in 50:21, 4th Age Group. Kinda wished I had gone about 20-30 seconds faster and gotten a double podium win. But those who finished ahead of me only ran the 10k and weren’t coming right off of a FIRST PLACE win in a 5k! So yeah, it was pretty awesome.
Pro: Overall not a bad day of racing and good kick off to the year. Small. Fairly quick turnover to the posting the times and presenting awards, so people aren’t waiting forever. Long sleeve technical T swag. Gorgeous course though a wonderful park.
Con: (Besides the course screw up on the 10k) I had heard that if you do both races you get cool arm warmers in addition to the t-shirt (something I actually need right now). But this year it was just plain black gloves. And they only had large man-hands sizes. So I guess I’ll store those in my car for emergencies.