Monday, September 04, 2006

Race Report: Labor Day 10K in Davis
The beeping coffeemaker got me up at 5:21 a.m. and I was out the door by 5:50, heading to Davis for the annual Labor Day Race. This was my second 10K of the year, after the Kenwood Foot Race on July 4th. (I think I need to find a Memorial Day race next year to complete the summer holiday trifecta.)

Fleet Feet has a store in downtown Davis, and the race starts right in front of it, on 2nd Street. Ridiculously but per habit, I arrived a good hour and a quarter before the festivities were scheduled to start, so I had plenty of time to jog around and get loose. I timed my last visit to the porta-potties for 15 minutes before the 8 a.m. start, but then they announced the race would start at 8:15 to allow time for late registrants or something. People: Arrive on time!

Oh, and one other thing, people: If you are 70 pounds overweight and likely to walk not run, do not position yourself at the front of the 700-person start-line throng. It was amazing how many obvious slow pokes were up front. Do they enjoy getting jostled out of the way? My guess is they simply haven't given the matter a thought.

So when the boom went boom and I hit my Polar to start my clock, it was time to pick through the crowd. Wasn't too bad, after all. But still.

At Mile 1, I was at 6:37, about where I hoped (but wasn't sure) I'd be. Mile 2, as we made our way along a paved path through a long, narrow suburban park, came in at 13:19, and at Mile 3 I was right around 20 minutes.

I'm learning that in running hard at shorter distance it's crucial to stay smooth and easy, so that's where my focus was. I relaxed my shoulders and shook off my grimace and tried to maintain the pace. Over the subsequent three miles I slowed by four or five seconds per mile, but I still passed a few people and only one guy passed me: The guy wearing bunny ears. I didn't find the bunny ears that interesting, but the clumps of spectators cheering us on did, and their reactions provided a nice distraction for me.

Back downtown, we turned off B Street for the final three-and-a-half block straightaway to the finish line. The crowd was sizeable, the sun was shining, the end was near. I chased after Bunny Ears but he was kicking, too, and I didn't gain any ground. Nice to finish strong, however, and nice to see the clock somewhere in the 41:30s. Recovery took a couple minutes, and boy is it fun not to be verging into Bonkville after a race (as can be the case with marathons or half-iron triathlons). Noah's Bagels had a table full of food, and I immediately downed a quarter of an orange, half a bagel and half a banana, washed down with 16 ounces of water. Walked around a bit, watching finishers come in, then got back on I-80 for the 46-mile drive home.

NOTED ON THE DRIVE BACK: Several extremely dusty cars, most with bikes on racks on the back. Ah, yes: Burning Man attendees heading home.

OFFICIAL RESULTS: 41:35, a 6:41/mile pace and a PR; 34/342 overall; 12/66 in the Male 40-49 group.

1 comment:

dan said...

Excellent result, Pete, and a nice writeup.