July 6, 2013 by IowaTriBob
Like so many others this past week, I signed up for a 4th of July run. My event was a 5k that was part of the CVRA 5th Seasons Races, a Cedar Rapids tradition since 1986. The CVRA 5th Seasons Races is composed of a competitive 8k race and a 5k run/walk event.
The 8k is the longest running 8k race in the USA and has awarded more prize money than any other 8k race in the country. Its been run by collegiate All Americans, NCAA Champions, Olympians and the winner of a past Boston Marathon. Needless to say this draws some top notch talent and this year was no exception. Jut to give you an ideal of the caliber of 8k racers, the top times in the overall standings this year were 23:59, 24:02, 24:03, and 24:05. These time represent 4:49-4:50 minute/mile pace – WOW!
Of course the 8k is the highlight of the day but the 5k is very well attended by athletes of all levels and is still considered a key part of the event – or at least that is what I thought going into the race.
The morning of the 4th in Cedar Rapids was just picture perfect for a run. The 8k got kicked off at 8:00am sharp with the 5k race to follow at 8:10am. The weather was mid 60′s with very little breeze and the event was moved back to downtown Cedar Rapids which is a very flat course.
All had the makings of some great times and I’m sure a lot of personal bests in mind, myself included.
Just prior to the race starting I set my Garmin 310XT in workout mode to measure my pace for mile 1, mile 2, and then splits for mile 2.0-2.6 and 2.6-3.1. My goal was to maintain a 7:45 minute / mile pace along these critical distances and to see what level of last 1/2 mile kick I was able to put in. Once I had everything set, I put the screen on Time of Day to not distract me and off I went.
The run was by far the best of the year for me.
My previous best 5K, measured by my Garmin 310XT, was the Iowa City River Run at the end of August with a time of 24:36. A 36 second improvement!
In fact, this run was 0.5 seconds off acheiving one of my 2013 overall stretch goals of breaking 24 minutes in a 5k, something I really wasn’t sure was going to be possible…
So here’s the cruel part of the day. The actual 5k race distance was off by at least a 1/4 to 1/3 mile long. So even though my watch had recorded a full 5k and had gone off finishing the workout, I hadn’t even started my kick because we were still 5 city blocks away from the finish line. With 4 blocks to go I really pushed hard and was able to even pass a few runners that I had been following along the course. Given past performances I can almost guarantee that I was pushing the 6:00 min/mile mark the last 400 meters of the race for an all out effort. Unfortunately this wasn’t even recorded by my Garmin or reflected in my best yet 5k effort.
So the end race results as recorded by the CVRA 5th Seasons race:
Gun Time: 25:15
Chip Time: 25:11
Pace mpm: 8:07
Good for 2nd in my age group (2 out of 22) and (84 out of 749 overall)
What a cruel trick to play on us 5k runners! Even though I understand the 8k is the premier event, you would have thought that at least someone would have walked, ran, or rode the 5k route with a GPS device to see that the setup was 1/4 to 1/3 mile longer than it should have been!
Oh well, it was still by far my best 5k workout…
Overall it was a beautiful day to be outside doing what you love and I had a great run, great pace, and great workout time measured by my Garmin regardless. More importantly, I know for sure that my 2013 goal is within reach and I’m excited for the next couple of 5k events to see if I can mark my #1 year’s run goal off the list! Lets just hope they can get the race distance right so I can make it official…