As I said last week the mile is a very different distance to race and one I haven’t done in a long time. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the $10,000 time bonus for breaking 4:00 but then again no one else did either! The event was well supported with aid stations every mile!
Ok, seriously though! Thursday was a beautiful day but as it got closer to evening it looked like it might rain and the temperatures dropped. Walking from the car to packet pickup I was chilly in my t-shirt and shorts but once we started warming up I wasn’t cold again until leaving the restaurant on the way home!
We did a couple mile warm-up while watching some of the first waves start. There were 8 waves, starting with a mass wave followed by four 10 year age groups, then the USATF Championship wave, women elite and finally the male elite wave. Since this is a USATF Circuit race I ran with the MDRA team in the USATF Championship Wave.
There isn’t a lot to report in a mile race! The course started alongside Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis on Willow Street before turning left onto 14th Street and finally turning onto Nicollet Ave for the majority of the mile. The quarter mile was marked with duct tape at the corner of 14th and Lasalle Ave with someone yelling this is the quarter. The half mile was marked with a digital clock near the corner of 13th and Nicollet. There may have been a 3/4 mark but I didn’t see it, the mark would have been at about 10th St. The race ended outside of M&I Bank, major race sponsor between 6th and 7th Streets on Nicollet.
For those unfamiliar with Nicollet, after 13th St it becomes a transportation mall with a fairly narrow street lined on either side with downtown restaurants and businesses. Several of the restaurants were designated cheer zones and there was a lot of crowd support in the last half mile.
My Garmin said there was a net elevation gain of 62 ft. I’m not going to bank on its accuracy (look at the map, I’m sure I didn’t zigzag!) But it was more uphill than flat or downhill in my opinion – I don’t think it was noticeable but gradual.
Now to my actual race – not sure what to do I went out hard running almost 100% and was probably in oxygen debt before the 1/4 mile mark. Garmin says I went through in 1:15. I didn’t know my time until the half mile which I thought said 2:33, my Garmin says it was 2:41. The 2nd 1/4 time was 1:26. I was starting to hurt pretty good and was feeling the anaerobic nature of the event and lack of oxygen! But I kept pushing through, people were passing me and I tried not to let them! There were a few women ahead of me and I tried to get them – one past me somewhere in here – which upset me. In this almost sprint race there is less focus on externals as everything seems to flying by and my gaze was straight forward. I went through the 3rd 1/4 in 1:23. Somewhere in here I saw the finish line and put in a final push and as it neared I really kicked it in. I ended up passing a lot people in the last quarter – well maybe 5 or 6, including at least one woman. The final 1/4 was 1:20. My splits add up to 5:25, although officially my time was 5:27. It seems everyone’s times from the team were off by 2 seconds or so as well. It was chip-timed so I’m sure their time is accurate.
My final breakdown is 126th place with a 5:27 mile. 1:15, 1:26, 1:23, and 1:20. My slowest pace was 6:02 while I dropped into 4:30′s in the final kick! Team MDRA finished 6th with a combined time of 25:05 in the USATF results. I should have actually scored for the team but it looks like they made an error.
They had water bottles available at the finish area and I guess treats inside the M&I Building but we were more interested in watching the elites race than anything else. Kenyans Josephat Kithii and Rose Kosgei won the elite divisions, neither getting the bonus. Both did set new course records though! Check out Down the Backstretch or The Final Sprint for all the details!
[tags] TC Mile, Mile, Minnesota, USATF, Nicollet Mall [/tags]