Here is a race report of Saturday’s 5K race in Dover-Foxcroft.
This was the first time I ran it since 2002. 2003 and 2004 I ran the Beach to Beacon 10K – the more “famous” Maine race that is on the first Saturday in August. Dover’s 5K is very fast and I was hoping for a good time. In 2001 I ran it in 21:59. 2002 I came in at 21:27. This year, I was going to run a little faster than I was capable of, trying to run it in less then 20 minutes.
However, that changed right off the bat, as our old Chemistry teacher George Rolleston told the runners in the prerace talk – “the course is a little long.” Everyone sort of groaned, and you could feel the disappointing, almost hostile, reaction. I heard someone ask Mr. Rolleston how long was the course, and he said “around 3.17 miles.” It’s all about the numbers, as Troy says. The course is .07 miles long – a good 35 – 40 seconds! That’s a long time when you are trying to break 20 minutes. The course changed due to the Essex Street Bridge being closed.
Oh well, I still thought I would run as hard as I could. I started a little too far back in the pack, though, because I started slower than I wanted to. I did not weave or plow my way ahead/threw people. Just naturally let runners get out of my way. The race started at the YMCA, by the way. I was running at a good clip as we left Park Street, crossed the road that goes to Sebec Lake, and ran straight on the road out towards the elementary and Sedomocha schools. The course usually goes straight on that road. However, this year it took a quick right and down a street to Prouty Ford and then left onto Summer Street. This made the course a lot tougher – Summer Street is a lot steeper than the original way the course went.
The first mile marker was at Union Street. George Rolleston told us during his pre-race speech. Originally I wanted to be there at 6:30. I hit the lap button on my watch, and the time was 6:40. I was ok with that. With the steep Summer Street hill I thought that a 6:40 mile was pretty quick. From here until then end of the race, I didn’t know the other mile locations. I thought from Union Street to the center of town would be the next mile. My plan was to stop my clock there, or at 6:30, what ever came first. There were some nice down hills coming up that I hoped would make me faster.
We turned down Fairview Avenue. I was running and concentrating too hard to pay attention if Gramma was watching. When the hill by the Fair Grounds came I pushed hard. Everyone else did too, and we just flew down the hill. The next change in the course came at the end of Fairview Avenue. Usually we ran to Essex Street, turned right across the bridge and up to where Merrit Square used to be. This year we turned right onto Lincoln Street and ran to the end of that road. This stretch of road I think is also tougher than the original course. From Merrit Square down Main Street past the banks to the middle of town is a nice down hill stretch. Lincoln Street is pretty flat, and has one fairly steep hill (both up and down.) I saw my time at 6:20 and thought I would stop it in 10 seconds. It would be around the Quiet’s house, before getting to the end of Lincoln. I forgot though. I stopped it at the very end of Lincoln, and that split read seven minutes. I’d been running 13:40 at this point, and thought I ran a little over two miles. It was way beyond my capability to figure if I was on track to run a sub 20 minute 5K on a 5.1K course. I can’t even figure that out now.
From that point to the end of the course, it was the same as it always had been. We had to get across Main Street because eventually we turned down Winter Street – where our old dentists used to work. This is kind of dangerous as there is no traffic control and cars are plentiful. The runner in front of me darted across the road, and seemed to stop traffic. There was no car behind me, and I figured the car in front of me would either stop or hit the other runner – and I would be able to get across. So I darted across. The runners behind me had the same thoughts. As soon as I started across, so did the three or four runners behind me.
Everyone safely made it across the road and we ran on. We ran down Winter Street and then meandered around roads in that neighborhood until we eventually made it back to the YMCA – where the race started and ended. One interesting thing happened. About 3/4 of a mile left I turned onto a road where the last uphill climb was. I knew I wouldn’t get sub 20 minutes – even if the course was a true 5K. I thought about taking it easy up the hill. Not stopping, or even lowering my effort, but just run at same level, letting my pace slow down. However, Mom, Dad, and Doreen were at the top of the hill, cheering me on. That motivated me, and I pushed hard to keep the pace.
After making it to the top I only had about a 1/2 mile to go and it was mostly flat. When my clock turned from 19 minutes to 20 minutes, I did take a 5 second mourning type thing by letting up a bit – had to “observe” the missing of my goal. But then I pushed hard again and finished in 21:35. Someone ran with a GPS and found the course to be 3.19 miles long.
Ok – this is how I am going to log this run. 21:35 for a 3.19 mile run is a pace of 6:46 per mile. If I ran 3.1 miles (a true 5K) at that pace, that comes out to 20:58! That’s a good looking time – much better than 21:02, for example. I’m going to record the 5K race as 20:58. After the race, to cool down, I ran from the YMCA to Mom’s and Dad’s house. Dad ran with me too. That was about 1.1 miles and we did it in 12:23. I recorded that run as 1.19 miles with a time of 13 minutes – the 12:23 from the cool down run and the 37 seconds it took to run the extra .09 miles in the race. That’s a perfectly normal thing for a runner to do. Mom would have recorded the run as 12:59 though – because of her phobia to the number 13 – that is just completely crazy!
Here are the results: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/06/me/Aug5_10thAn_1_set1.shtml
Course I ran this year: http://www.runningmap.com?id=3238
Normal course: http://www.runningmap.com?id=3239