Race report time. Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 13, I raced the Portland Sea Dog’s 5K. The Portland Sea Dog’s is the Boston Redsox’s AA baseball team.
When I drove down I was thinking about trying to run a sub 20 minute 5K, but it wasn’t meant to be. I finished in a kind of disappointing 21:19. That was what was in the results. I think it took more than 19 seconds to get to the starting line, and get around a lot of people who started too close to the front. I think I would have been able to run it in 20:xx in perfect conditions. It had too many up hills to get below 20 minutes though.
During the announcements, the guy said there were over 1,800 people registered. The final results showed 1,439. It seemed I passed most of them during the race! I came in 161 (24 out of 68 in my age group), and zigged, zagged through people just about the whole time.
After the announcements were done a lady sang the National Anthem which doesn’t happen often during races. Maybe they did it because it was at a baseball park. The lady who sang it took two-three seconds to croon each word, and it was pretty frustrating by the end. It should take less than a minute to sing that song, but she must have sung almost three minutes. “ooooooooooooOHHHHHHHH sssssaaaAAAAAYYYY CaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnNNNNNNNNNNNN yOUUUUUUUUU SEEEEEEEEEEEEE…”
The start was a “get set” and then a cannon bang, and we were off. Sort of. I walked for 10 seconds or so, and then started my watch when moving went to a slow crawl. I couldn’t see the start line due to the huge number of people, even when I was crossing it. I think I started my watch early. Right after I finished the race, I stopped my watch and it read 21:10.
The first two miles of the race are generally up hill, but nothing too steep. I remember seeing 6:22 on my watch and hoping that the first mile marker would appear soon, but knowing I was not close to it. I decided to take more evasive action and really started weaving and passing people. When the first mile marker went by I saw I was at 7:08. No way was I running sub 20.
I picked it up some more and ran harder, but still had to weave and juke to pass people. It was amazing really. People were working very hard and certainly went out way too fast. I heard some “oh boys,” “oohhhs,” and other complaining type sounds. It probably didn’t help them to see me and a couple other runners zooming past.
Mile two was still mostly up hill. My thought for mile two in a sub 20 minute race is to see just under 13 minutes. I’ve been there a couple times in the past, but have never been able to hold it together to finish in 19:xx. At this race I was just under 14 minutes at the two mile mark: 13:55. I think with the time to get from where I started to the actual start and the time I lost in the first two miles because of slow people, I still would not have seen 12:5x – even on a good day. The course was too tough – too much incline.
I was able to do a little math at the end of mile two. I took over seven minutes to get to the first mile mark, and then just under 14 minutes to get to the second mile marker. I knew I sped up. When I am able to think like that after a couple miles, I am not running hard enough. I started running harder, still passing people. That never happens. Usually by this time people are so spread out there isn’t many people getting passed. And if there is it is usually by people zooming by me, the occasional straggler who has decided just to finish, or when I have lost it and am taking it easy and people are catching/passing me. I don’t recall being the person zooming by, but that day I was!
Before this 5K I went back and read the race report I made in 2005 (the only other time I ran this one – one of the last hard runs I did before those series of operations I had back then). I wrote about this nasty hill in the last mile. Most of mile one and two is uphill. Most of mile three in down, except for this one terrible hill somewhere between 1/2 to 3/4 mile from the finish. Because I read about I expected it, and that helped me get over it. After that hill it was flat or down hill the rest of the way!
They didn’t have a mile three marker. I finished the race in 21:19. The miles looked like this: 7:08 mile 1, 6:47 mile 2 (total 13:55), and 7:24 the last 1.1 miles (6:44 pace). I was pretty wiped out at the end. When I raced this one back in 2005 I remember the end – running into the Sea Dog’s stadium and running around the outfield arriving near home plate (still on the dirt, right next to the stands). In 2005 I recall looking across the field and thinking this is pretty cool. Back then there were a couple ball players throwing and watching the runners. This year I don’t remember a thing about the stadium at the end. I think it was just too crowded, and I had to watch where I was going.
Looking back at the results, in 2005 only 814 people finished. I ran it then in 21:17 coming in 110 place. There were five people who finished between 21:15 and 21:19. This year there were 1,439 finishers. I ran two seconds slower, 21:19, but came in 161 place. There were 10 people who finished between 21:17 and 21:21, and that was a small number of people compared to other four second time periods. Here are the results http://www.coolrunning.com/results/07/me/May13_SeaDog_set1.shtml.
I think I will pass on this race in the future. There are too many people and along with the up hills, I’m not going to break 20 on that one. Doreen also would like me to skip it. It is on Mother’s day, and close to our wedding anniversary (big 20 next year – May 14).
Well, that is the race report! Thanks for reading (if you still are reading.) I hope everyone has a good day. My next race is coming right up – next weekend May 20 a 15K in Sugarloaf. Dad is going to run that one too!