Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ostrich Festival

This was the first year the Ostrich Festival 5k was held on the parade route in downtown Chandler. The following is a personal race report from Pat Monahan.

The Chandler Ostrich Festival 5k. March 7, 2009.
Today was the debut of the men's version of "A Shirt That Races". I set my alarm for 6 am and woke up at 6:30 wondering why the alarm didn't go off. I was ok, since this year's Ostrich Festival 5k was being run on the parade route in downtown Chandler for the first time. Just a few minutes from home. I got to packet picket up an hour before race time. Picked up my race tee, which is just the festival tee. But, still good looking and went back to my car to stay warm.

There I am in "A Shirt That Races" with bib #149. It's a small race with less than 200 runners. About 50 degrees and sunny. There was a delay of almost 1/2 hour because the barricade guys slept in.

Runners started warming up. This guy wasn't going 15 mph, but I thought it was a funny picture anyway. I started out fast. My plan was to stay around a 9:09 mile.* Three of those plus a fast sprint at the end will give me a PR of around 28:10. My first mile was in 8:45. I thought I was moving pretty good, but there were still plenty of people gliding past me. This course is made for PRs. It's flat and straight. It all takes place on Arizona Avenue with just two turn arounds. Mile two was done in 9:36. I did walk for a drink and to down half a candy bar (much more enjoyable than a GU).

Mile three was the most fun. In the finish line picture below you'll see a little kid sitting on the curb. He ran the race. Maybe 10 years old. He cruises past me, looks up, smiles and says hi. I catch up to him, thinking that he's running a 1 mile fun run and it happens to be on the same course. So, I ask. Nope, he's running the whole 5k and it doesn't look like it's fazing him one bit.

Yeah, that little kid on the left. Maybe, he's 7 or 8. So we get to the 2.6 mile turn around and theirs a cop directing traffic. I tell the kid to give the cop a high five and he does. As he does I take the turn and say, "see ya kid, I'm in front". As the kid sprints past me, he says, "Oh no your not".
We spend the last bit of the race running side by side and I give him some race advice about conserving energy and saving it for the sprint to win at the end. We match stride for stride and then I tell him at the light I'm going to start my sprint. 100 yards to go and we both kick it up a notch. I did mile three in 9:51, but now the kid and I are under a 7 minute pace. I had some gas in the tank, he was running on fumes. I could have taken the kid, honest. Of course, he probably told his dad he didn't want to beat the old man too bad, so he coasted. But, I like my story better. We both finished around 28:52. The kid won by a nose.
I stop my garmin, give the kid a fist bump and realize that I missed my PR by 3 seconds. Three Seconds! That's ok. I enjoyed racing with the kid, much more than any PR. There's always tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow. I hope I have the horsepower for race #2 this weekend. Yeah, I'm taking "A Shirt That Races" down to Tucson for a special race.

*9:09 pace per mile would give me a 2 hour HM or a 4 hour marathon. That's why my blog is named after my goal pace. I'm a long way from my goal.

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