Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mardi Gras 5K Race Report

Race #4 new to me in 2017 (Goal is 50)
Race #6 to finish in 2017
Race #8 to be in attendance for in 2017 (6 finish, 1 announce, 1 media)

Second race of the weekend took me to Angleton, Texas, south of downtown Houston and off Highway 288.

As I stated in an earlier Facebook post, when an United States Olympic Trials Marathon finisher asks you to come out and run her race, you do your best to try and get it on your calendar.

Whenever Lauren Smith Stroud decides to give up running competitively, she can have a pretty good career as a race director.

She did a fantastic job today.  I didn't stay for any of the post-race festivities, but as a racer she got the race started on-time and had a certified course that was extremely well-marked and coned off.

The race was manually timed because of the smaller crowd, which is no big deal as the process to capture those times and runners was sound.

However, this is an event - the Mardi Gras 5K produced by the Angleton Parks and Recreation Department -- that really should grow.

It is basically a flat course with a handful of turns. had 17.19 feet of elevation gain, but I couldn't tell you where that even was.

Here's the course on -- Mardi Gras 5K.

Style points would be that maybe the mile markers were a little off, but otherwise from an event production standpoint there's really nothing that you can find fault with.

If you registered before race day, I think the price for a long time was $20.  There was a Kids' 1K that was sparsely attended, which is a shame.

I registered race day for $25, which isn't bad at all (given the nature of our sport these days).

Mile 1 -- 9:25.20
Mile 2 -- 10:21.62
Mile 3 -- 8:34.35
Last .1 -- 1:14.83

Total -- 29:36.00

The funny of the day goes to a lady right before the start.  She asked, "Are you Dr. so-and-so's PA (Physician Assistant)?"  I went, "Ah no."

I know at times that I look official, but not this Saturday morning - or any other for that profession.

At about the halfway point, a man and his son were running and asked if I knew what pace I was running.  I think I replied something to the effect, "As fast as I can and then hold on!"  I said that it felt like about a 9:20 pace.

After we made the right hand turn on to Downing and got to the mile marker, he said, "You were right.  9:20."  I got there a few seconds after in 9:25.

From there, we ran south on Downing and then west on Miller to get to mile 2.

That came in at 10:21 and I thought, "Wow.  The wheels are coming off."  But the temperature was great.  51 degrees.

Nonetheless, I kept plugging away.  A taller gentleman my age and a woman that I saw inside the Recreation Center were running in my general vicinty.

We traded off a little bit down Downing, on Miller and through turns on to Willow, Cedar and then Valderas, but I needed to pause for a quick breath coming down Valderas and could catch neither of them.

Mile 3 was 8:34.35 and the last .1 was 1:14.83.  When I'm running about a 9:20 pace, that last tenth of a mile is basically 56 or 57 seconds.  So that marker was a little off, or the finish was off.

When I talked to Lauren after the race, she thought it was long (like at 3.16) and when I measured it on, it was 3.17.  (I don't do Auto Follow Roads and I'm very deliberate and try to mark the tangents where possible to get the shortest possible distance.)

So to go 29:36 at 3:17, that's a 9:20 pace and equates to a 29-minute even 5K.

So I'm really pleased, thirteen and a half hours after another 5K including a drive back from Temple and a drive to Angleton to have essentially run better.

At my age, I'll take it.  :-)

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