Last year, I participated in my first 5k run, and almost killed myself doing it. This year, I decided not to let that happen again, so I’ve been training since July. As a result, not only did I feel fine the day of and the day after the race, but I beat my time from last year by almost five minutes. I finished 5km in 27 minutes 18.5 seconds, a pace of 5’50″/km. I was the 458th person (out of 2552) to cross the finish line, though that’s misleading because some people that finished ahead of me may have had a slower overall time. Unfortunately, that’s the way they order the finishers, so in terms of absolute time, I don’t know where I placed. I was 284th out of 930 men. They originally listed me as “Male under 24”, so my ranking there is meaningless as well, but doing the math myself, 25 out of 87 men in the 40-45 group finished with faster times than mine (one beat me by over ten minutes). These numbers assume that most people are listed in the right groups, though Nicky and both of my parents were also in the wrong groups, so who knows. I’ve emailed the people who do the stats, and they have already replied saying they can fix them, so I’ll check again before I post this and see if it’s been updated. Update from next morning: They’ve moved me over to the right group, but some other things must have changed too, because now I’m ranked 30th out of 88 men 40-45. Whatever.
It turns out that I wasn’t training quite as thoroughly for this race as I thought I was. I used my Nike+ iPod and it decided that the route was 5.49 km. Since I finished in 27’18”, that gave me a pace of 4’58”. I’m assuming the route was actually 5 km even, so I guess my iPod measures a bit long. It looks like those runs I did that were reported as 5.2 km weren’t even five and the 4.4’s were probably about four. The iPod reported after the race (with a message from Lance Armstrong!) that this was my longest workout to date, which means that none of the runs I did in practice was as long as the real race. Apparently the iPod gives you the ability to recalibrate it, so right after the race I should have selected “Calibrate” and then told it that I had just run 5.0 km, but it’s too late now. Sometime in the near future, I’ll have to drive around the block and measure exactly how long it is, and then run it and do the recalibration. Regardless, it was close enough that it didn’t really matter. I wasn’t in pain at the end of the race – I even had enough left in the tank to increase my pace (not quite sprint, but I definitely ran faster) over the last 50 metres or so.
This year Ryan and Nicky joined in the fun as well (Gail was away at a scrapbooking weekend). They walked the course with my parents and finished in about an hour. They seemed pretty excited about being part of the team, and having special t-shirts, and the sensor on their shoe, and especially getting a medal at the end (Nicky said that the 5K on the medal means that it was 5 karat gold).
To all of those who sponsored me, a huge Thank You! I raised over $300 myself, and our team raised over $3000 for gynecological cancer research at PMH.