Saturday, June 19, 2010

The 5K that wasn't 5K

Or 3.1 miles. It was, in fact, 2.67 miles. Which explains my "record-breaking" time of 20:53!

This unfortunately (or fortunately) mis-measured race was called "Run with the Cops, Not from Them," and it was sponsored by a law enforcement charitable group. I agreed to go with my secretary's son (who is FAST and is obsessed with 5K's), even though I am a defense attorney. Haha.

Actually there is so much pro- and anti-cop stuff (depending on the incident of the day) going on around here that I felt a little weird about it, but it was fine. Not gung-ho at all. Although there were way more uniforms around than at your typical 5K. Non-runners, of course. The running cops were pretty much incognito. (Although I must say, although there was a fair combination of fit-looking and chubbier people, there weren't many of the Skeletor type runners that you see at races. Cops are meatier folk, I guess.)

Anyhow, Arjin picked me up in his pristine Prius and we drove to Marymoor Park. The weather was good for running, mild and cloudy, though not so great considering that we are two days from the first day of summer!

I registered, got my number and chip (an improvement from when I ran this three years ago), and ran out on the (paved) trail to warm up. I ran a little more than a mile in one direction then back. I wasn't sure if this was the exact race course, but it turned out it was. Marymoor has great paths for running and walking, but the flaws I noticed for racing were the narrowness of the trail (wasn't a problem though), sharing it with cyclists (wondering if they closed it for the race? Because there were way more bikes during my warm-up), some sharp turns and some short but steep inclines (both of which tend to be slowing). I did a little more than 2.4 miles warm-up then met up with Arjin again.

I told Arjin we needed to line up near the front to avoid a bottleneck. I knew I couldn't keep up with him but I thought I'd try to keep him in my sights as long as possible.

After a countdown of 10 (10?) we were off! Arjin pulled ahead quickly. I could see him ahead of me for close to a mile, then he was out of my vision except when we crossed paths in the out and back.

I was running pretty hard, but not my fastest. My first mile was about 7:45, which was even a little slower than last week. I blame the hairpins and hills...I also blame them for my paces in the rest of the race.

Not too much past the mile, I saw the turnaround sign ahead. This couldn't be right--unless there was a change in course on the way back. We turned at 1.33 miles. Hmmm....

My second mile clocked at a slightly shaming 8:00 (may turn out to be 7:59 when Garmin does its adjustments). Then it was time for the final kick. Only a mile...or go. Although I wanted the race to be the proper distance, it was tempting to be done sooner rather than later!

As I turned the bend into the final stretch I saw that there was no change in the course, so the distance was going to be short. WAY short. I crossed the finish mat and stopped my watch at 2.67 miles.

I immediately told the race official at the finish line that the course was short. In a nice way, of course. I also told several other runners, right then as well as later when we were looking at the result printout.

Arjin was waiting for me and of course I IMMEDIATELY told him. Don't want him thinking his 19-ish minute time is for real! :) Honestly, the reason I thought it should be known was not to make people less thrilled with their times today, but to keep them from disappointment when their next 5K was so much slower.

While waiting for the results to come out I jogged around some of the other park trails to bump up my total miles for the day. I ran two more miles at just under 10 minute pace. Total for the day, 7+ miles.

When I got back the result lists were up. I had a little trouble finding my name until I realized there were separate lists for males and females.

The real: I was 7th female, first in my age group, 20:53 time. The fake: it showed my pace as 6:44. Ha. Ha. Ha.

I ate a couple of orange wedges and a tasty carrot muffin, then hung out for a bit waiting for the awards. But--there were none. Apparently the budget didn't allow for ribbons. Really? What about just announcing the names of the winners? Not that I care, of course. :)

I didn't even take a picture. I went back to the car (Arjin was waiting there; despite his speedy time, as a youthful 30-year-old he was only 5th in his AG). I put on a jacket so I wouldn't sweat on his car (he also has plastic on the floors to keep them clean). Then we drove away home.

The end.
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