Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super 5K 2012

On Superbowl Sunday, I ran my first Super 5K in Narragansett, RI.  I was looking forward to testing my fitness on a flat road course as I've been a little down on my performances on the trails recently.  I didn't need a PR, just a decent time to show me I haven't lost anything since early December.  The other exciting aspect of this race was the team competition component.  This was the WTAC's first road racing event, and the Super 5K attracts a good batch of local runners, most of which are on teams. 

Justin picked me up early, and we were off to Narragansett.  We registered and walked around for a bit before returning to his truck to get ready for a warm up.  Unbelievably, it was still over an hour before the start.  We fidgeted until we couldn't take it anymore, and headed out to run the course.  It was a sunny day, but a tad chilly - mid 30's.  I've gotten so used to the warm winter weather this year that these conditions felt cold to me.  The wind was light and variable - or so it seemed - it always felt in your face.  I was planning to race in short sleeves, but I never got warm on the warm up, so I left my warmer clothes on.  We noticed a good number of fit and fast looking runners also out on the course.  Back at registration, we found our teammates Jeff, Tom, and Steve, and then made our way over to the starting line.  I chose to not toe the line, trying to play it smart, and ended up in the 2nd row, right behind last year's winner Will Sanders.  Tom, Justin, and Jay S were on my right.  Before I knew it, the race was on. 

I took off swiftly, but under control.  After a 1/4 mile, I was probably about 15th.  I noticed Jay ahead of me, and wondered if I should stick with him as we've been finishing near each other in recent trail races.  Justin went by, and then a 1/2 mile in, Jeff and Aaron R passed me:
Suddenly I found myself running with humans much larger than myself: 
The course veers right onto a side street, that is also the only hill, if it could be called that.  My first mile was 5:46.  This is right about where I wanted to be - not too fast, not too slow.  The course then flattens out and turns left down a very straight street.  Near the end of the street was a turnaround, so I soon was seeing the runners ahead of me go by.  I shouted encouragement to Justin and Jeff, before making my turn (which was rather awkward).  I then crossed the 2nd mile mark at 11:51.  Quick math told me I ran a six plus minute mile, and I needed to step it up. 

I picked it up as the course descended back to Ocean Road.  I seemed to be stuck in my position with no one that close in front or behind.  I managed to smile as I passed my wife and kids: 

As we neared the Towers, with about a 1/2 mile left, I made the decision to make myself more uncomfortable and try to catch the runners in front of me.  I could tell I was gaining on 3 of them, and then finally went by right at the Towers.  I was working extremely hard, and now was closing in on Jay.  I didn't check my time at three miles, instead I was concentrating on finishing.  Jay picked it up, and I soon found myself focused on the sprinting I could hear behind me.  I tried to find another gear.  It wasn't much, but I held onto my position and crossed the line in 18:18. 


I was really pleased with my time.  It wasn't a PR, but close enough (10 seconds).  This race let me feel confident again about my running.  It was fun chatting with my teammates and friends about our races afterwards.  Justin set another PR and finished in the top 10.  Jeff almost broke 18 minutes.  I think Jay said his time was a PR.  I left to meet up with my family before I knew the team results.  I later learned that WTAC finished in first place!  Going in, I thought that we would be battling for 2nd place, so this was a big surprise.  See team results and pictures here

Finally, I had to include this picture my wife took of Jeff in gazelle mode: 


  1. Fe Fi Fo Fum! I'm happy the giant didn't eat you. Good finish around mile three. Great race!!

  2. Great write-up, photos, and race finish, Jonny! You and I were both only about 10 seconds off PRs. Thank your wife for the gazelle mid-air photo!