It has been awhile since I raced so I was glad to get out there and do it again. The 31st Annual Hennepin Lakes Classic 10K, 5K, Doubleheader had a decent day for racing. It was about 72 at the start with humidity about the same, with a slight breeze. To top it off it was overcast… until the start! Located at beautiful Lake Calhoun on Minneapolis’ west side this could have been a good race.
If you read my weekly training update you pretty much know how I felt going into the race, but I woke up feeling pretty good and thought it’d be a good day for racing. After warming up and hitting the porta-potty it was time to line and get this thing started.
I wanted to take it out slow and build the pace throughout the race. I discovered that MDRA Teammate Colin had the same plan in mind for about the same finish time so I stayed back with him at the start. It is frustrating because we definitely weren’t that far back from the front – maybe 6-10ft or so and we got boxed in pretty much from the buzzer. We settled into what felt like a good pace and dodged people for awhile coming through the first mile in 6:33. Maybe a touch faster than we expected but a good start. A quick little hill with about 50ft elevation gain at about 1.25 wasn’t too bad. It was really enough to make you push up it. They had water available at the 1.5 mark which was good. Up until this point the race had been along East Calhoun Parkway, now we headed out onto Lake Street for the last half of the second mile. We came through the 2 mile in 6:45. I really need to figure out how to setup the Garmin so it gives me the mile time and overall (anyone know how to do that?) so I don’t have to do math in my head while running! Finishing up on Lake St we turned onto West Calhoun Parkway where we were quickly hit hard with a headwind. By now the race had pretty much strung out and there were just little clumps of runners and a lot of individual runners. Colin and I were still together and looking at the picutres my wife took, there was actually 6 of us in the picture for maybe a pack of 4 or 5 ( I think we were passing some of them). Up to this point all the miles had been marked perfectly, Mile 3 was setup pretty early. But actually it was the 3 mile mark for the 5K race later – but it was blown around by the wind and a “helpful” spectator put it back up (but the wrong way)! The 3 mile mark was in the right spot and we ran it in 6:51. There was a waterstop setup as we passed the finish chute – I drank a little and tossed the rest on my head. We hit the first 5K in 20:55.
At this point I knew we were off pace and that’d I’d have to run a 20:30 to PR and 19:05 to hit my goal of breaking 40. The headwind took a lot out of us. As we rounded a curve female teammate Carly made herself known as she pulled up beside me. So here we were 3 teammates running 3 abreast down the street, if only for a few strides. The 4th mile was pretty unremarkable as we all struggled along,except that there was a headwind here too. I think the larger pack at the start mitigated much of the wind’s force but now in smaller groups we could feel it. We came through 4 in 6:47. I’m not sure when Colin dropped back but Carly was right with me until we hit the hill. Part of me wanted to beat her and part of me wanted to help her. I decided that I needed to focus on my race and try and encourage her as much as I could. So as we went up the hill at about 4.5 and I started to pull away I yelled some encouragement to her as I passed some other runners. Grabbed some water at about 4.75 and came through the 5 mile in 6:48. As I approached the mile mark I knew that I needed to be around 32 minutes to hit my goal time so I was a little discouraged to see my Garmin click over to 34 minutes. But I still put in a quick surge and tried to pick-up the pace (although my effort felt a lot harder than my times showed) and actually examining the 1/4 mile segment my pace slowed by a few seconds. Nevertheless I did pull away from the small group I was in and continued passing people for the whole race. Turning back onto West Calhoun I again got hit with the strong headwinds. I kept pushing myself knowing that the only way I could PR was going to be pushing the last mile HARD. I came through mile 6 in 6:52. Still struggling to run as hard as possible I finished the last 0.2 miles in 1:19 (which is 5:45 pace). Final 5K time 20:58 pretty much an even split race. Overall time was 41:59.
Post race they had lots of water, some healthy fruit bar, fruit strips, and Naked Juice. They were also giving away Clif Bars. Nothing too fancy but still a pretty nice setup. This is my second event hosted by The Sporting Life (TSL) Events (the other was Human Race 8K). They put on a good race.
I recovered a little bit and cooled down with some of the guys who were warming up for the 5K. I was very glad not to be doing the double header! We stuck around for the start of the 5K and then took a quick dip in Lake Calhoun before heading home!
Were you there? What did you think of the event? Several of my teammates doubled!
[tags] Hennepin Lakes Classic, 10K, Lake Calhoun, Race Review [/tags]