|Temple Town Hall|
I was thankful to have my family in tow this year. They don't see too many of my races but I appreciate it when they do. At least the weather was nice this year (mid 50's, mostly sunny). Seems like it's icy cold or snowing most years. The nice weather also brought out a good size crowd (~200) which was nice to see. If you've come for a 5k PR you've come to the wrong race. The first 1 1/2 miles generally climbs, the next mile is mostly downhill and the final stretch punishes you with a deceiving difficult uphill finish. I don't know if it qualifies as a tough 5k or not but it definitely is a slow 5k. Very few folks run under 18 minutes at this one. Heck, in 8 tries I've never run under 19 minutes.
I lined up in the front row and checked out this years competition. Fellow GCS teammate Joe Rogers was running for the first time. I gave him an overview of the course and thought he had a chance for the win. My plan was to go out fairly easy (since it's mostly uphill the first 1 1/2 miles) and just fall into position and then hammer the downhill. As expected, Joe was with 2 other guys up front and I was a ways back in 5th for most of the 1st mile. I eventually gave up a spot in the first mile, and another spot in the 2nd mile before gaining one back in the final mile. The mile markers ALWAYS seem to be off each year so I don't put a lot of value into my splits. I ran the uphill a little slow but really picked up the pace on the downhill and the short section of dirt road. The last 1/2 mile is always hard as it gradually climbs back up before finishing just below the town hall. It has to be the longest last 1/10th of a mile anywhere. This year it took me 1:15 to run that last '1/10th' of a mile. That comes out to something like a 12 min/mile pace (not bloody likely). Like I said, the mile markers ALWAYS seem to be off. Oh well, at least it's the same every year so I don't mind so much.
Deb was kind enough to take a bunch of pictures throughout the race. All pics can be found here.
Happy New Year!