|Danica (in purple) waiting for the 5k start|
I love watching Danica run the end of the race because she always takes off! The great part is that she has good form...the bad part is that in low light with a point and shot camera it's hard to get a great photo! :) Go Danica!!!
|Danica (2697) sprints to the finish line!|
I started well. Okay, I thought I started well. What I think was about 3/4 mile in I found my self running next to another guy so I started chatting with him. I learned that his name was Dave and he told me that he was aiming for a 8 minute mile pace so we agreed to run together. At the one mile mark he commented that we hit the first mile at 7:45. A little faster than I was planning on but I was feeling good. Dave was feeling good. After results were posted I saw that our mile pace was actually at 7:38. We pushed on.
|Dave and I at the 1/2 way point|
Running in the caves is a unique experience. For one, the scenery doesn't change much!!! Thankfully there were mile markers painted on the ground which helped in knowing how far we had gone (or how much farther we had to go depending on how you look at it). There were volunteers on the course to make sure things were going smoothly, but the only real place to see spectators was at the point where we started the race since we had to make 2 loop on the 5k course. It was great to see Danica and her here cheering me on.
It was a little after the halfway point that Dave figured we were on pace to finish at the 48 minute mark. Did I hear Dave right? 48 minutes? That was an average pace of 7:45! I was still feeling okay (but talking less) so I figured I'd keep pushing through with Dave which was exactly what I needed! We ended up alternating who stopped at water stops after the 1/2 point (not planned, just happened that way) which was really helpful as it allowed one of us to keep pace while the other stopped to drink.
With about a half mile left Dave started picking up the pace -- not considerably, but enough for me to notice. I was able to stick with Dave for about a quarter mile then told him to go on without me and he took off.
I stuck to my guns and then started to pick it up once I rounded the corner and saw the finish line. I looked at the clock and saw it pass the 47 minute mark and knew with the chip time that I may have actually came in at under 47 minutes! Crossing the finish line I saw Dave and thanked him for his help.
Checking my race results later my chip time was 46:57! My goal pace of an 8 minute mile was smashed with an average pace of 7:34! Considering how warm it was in the caves I considered this an excellent pace! Plus it's a PR (duh...it was my first 10k!) :)
Was there bling? Nope. But I was cool with that as the race supported the Children's TLC (Therapeutic Learning Center) which offers some great services for kids in the Kansas City area.
|My post race photo|