Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tri-City Valleycats Fathers Day Home Run 5K

Saturday morning was a great day to run in a local 5K race. The race was at Joseph Bruno Stadium on the Hudson Valley Community College campus, home of the Tri-City Valleycats. I've been running mostly long distance races so it was time to switch to a shorter distance. A 5K race is always tough so don't be fooled by the distance (3.1 miles). Overall, it was a very fun and satisfying race. Now, here's the recap.

Wednesday prior to the race, I ran a 5K distance to get myself ready for Saturday. This would be very interesting considering I did not do any running since the Vermont City Marathon on Memorial Day weekend. Wednesday was tough but I got through the run and did very well. My watch recorded negative splits which is a very good sign (7:19, 6:46, 6:34, and 6:20 pace for the final tenth of a mile). Not too bad for not running the previous three weeks. This gave me a lot of confidence heading into Saturday's race.

Saturday morning, I made a couple mental notes not to eat a heavy meal prior to the race. I limited it to toast and a banana while hydrating myself with a couple glasses of water. Do not go too fast out of the gate. Off to the stadium for packet pick up and pre-race warm up/stretch. I'm not as tense and nervous when I do some warm up runs prior to the start.

The horn sounds and the runners are off. Heading up Williams Road into the residential area, I felt very good about my pace within the first mile at 6:28. Heading into mile 2, the fatigue was starting to creep in a little bit. Even though it would be tough to make up ground, I was not getting passed so much. The water stop heading up a hill back to Williams Road helped even though my pace was the slowest (7:02). Once I cleared the hill and headed back onto campus, I was still a little fatigued but not as slow back in the residential streets. I kept telling myself to run through the finish even though I was getting tired. The finish was inside the baseball stadium on the field. The remaining distance was on the warning track. I got passed by a couple runners at the end but I was very happy to see the time at the finish line. My official time was 21:19 with a 6:53 pace. Mile three was a 6:53 pace with 6:20 the remaining distance. I finished inside the top 5 in my age group, 31st overall out of over 340 runners. Even though the splits were not consistent, I was very pleased with the result. To my knowledge, this is the fastest time for a 5K race. Looking forward to the Firecracker 4 race in Saratoga Springs coming up on July 4th.

Thank you very much HMRRC and all the Tri-City Valleycats staff for putting on a great event for Fathers Day. Also, thank you to the volunteers and law enforcement for keeping all the runners safe on the course.

No pictures for this race but it was nice to have a different race recap aside from just marathons and half-marathons. Happy running everyone and stay safe.

-Matt