Sunday, September 09, 2012

A 5k race on a beautiful day

What a day! Just about perfect Spring weather in Canberra: A cloudless blue sky; soft warmth from the sun (temperature during the race was 13C); fragrant smells from blossoming trees; a barely noticeable breeze rippling the lake. An ideal day for racing!

This year I decided to enter The Canberra Times 5k (normally I race the more popular 10k). Good decision — the number of starters was about ideal (a couple of hundred runners with the rest of the field being walkers). We ran for a very short distance on a road then cut to a bike-path, but even so, by that time I was in 'free space', running next to a couple of girls with a young boy just ahead. Once again I raced by feel, starting the Garmin then not looking at it until the finish. The start felt a little fast (lack of speedwork showing up there) and I wasn't surprised when Jill sprinted past well before the bridge.

Once over the bridge I settled into what I thought was the right effort level for a 5k race. I found myself running mainly with unknown young runners: girls, boys and teenagers. The only Masters runner I could see (besides Jill) was Gary, who had also sprinted off at the start and was running about 200 metres ahead next to a young girl (who ended up being the third female to finish). I eased past Jill just beyond the 1k flag then soon after we moved onto the road detour (a small hill around an old landslide). The 3k flag was on the beach just beyond the Boathouse and at this point I still thought I was moving well (my stride felt smooth). I was gradually catching people while enjoying the pleasing feeling of not having any runners overtaking from behind. Splits show my pace lagging in the fourth kilometre (I do recall the race feeling hard at this point). After we ran under Kings Avenue Bridge our race joined the slow finishers of the 10k for the last kilometre to the finish. Even so, there was plenty of running room.

I kept the pressure on but a young boy and a twenty-something man that I'd been catching surged away. The final 80 metres of this race are a little cruel as the field is diverted off the bike path up a grassy bank to the finish. I stopped my Garmin and was happy with what it showed — 22:34. Not sure of my place yet or how I faired in my age-group. The pace was the same that I ran for the Gold Coast 10k but there's something about this course that doesn't make it a super-fast one. So I'm happy with the time — 5k-specific training of the type that Pete Magill recommends will reduce it quite a bit over Summer. Bring on the track!

Splits: 4:26, 4:32, 4:28, 4:40, 4:28.

On the beach for July's Runners Shop 5k


Blogger Thomas said...

As long as you're still able to keep up with the young whipper-snappers, it's all good. Those are very consistent split, sounds like you raced well.

6:16 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

I have enough trouble keeping up with the old whipper-snappers to worry about the young ones.

6:55 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Sounds like it was a pleasant race. It's always nice to run in one of those!

7:25 pm  
Blogger jen said...

Great race, Ewen! I'm not sure if I could handle racing by feel but I should really give it a whirl. Seems to result in speedy times for you!

7:39 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

Good one ET. I hope to hear of you tearing it up the track this season. May you successfully solve the 5K puzzle :-)

7:49 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thomas, only *some* of the young whipper-snappers ;) Yes, happy with the splits - just need to get them generally faster.

Speedygeoff, ha ha! It's a great day when I can keep up with an older whipper-snapper.

Yes, it was a great day Bob. Lots of fun!

Thanks Jen. Yes, it's fun (and less pressure) racing by feel & ignoring the clock so give it a go.

Thanks J. I'm hoping to solve the 5k puzzle in the late 3/5ks this Summer. Will let you know if I do!

8:47 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Congratulations on the race! It sounds like it was a good day. Hey, our times for the 5K are pretty close. I wish you lived on this end of the world, so we could run together!

2:38 am  
Blogger strewth said...

Great race Ewen. Things are definitely looking good for you for track season. Here's hoping this stunning Spring weather keeps on keeping on:)

5:45 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize. We're probably in similar shape at the moment, but you have more potential ;) If we were training partners my hill running would improve, that's for sure!

Thanks Ruthie. Yes, I'm all over this weather. Loving it!

9:03 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

The winning times suggest that the 10k is much more competitive that the 5k. Is the 5k a fun run for young and old whipper-snappers? ;-)

10:36 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Old and Young whipper snappers should always be beaten Ewen. Good splits but as you said just need to be faster.

1:05 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

That's right Grellan - I'd be lost in the 'fat' part of the field in the 10k. In the 5k I'm a star amongst all kinds of whipper-snappers.

Paul, yes, great fun showing them how it's done. Now that it's warm enough to hit the track I'll be working on those splits.

8:28 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

Thats a good and fast time and nice race pic.

7:02 pm  
Anonymous Karla said...

Great race! I haven't run a 5K in many moons. You've reminded me how much fun they can be!

1:06 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Rinus. Perhaps the pic might be improved if I took my shirt off like you? ;)

Thanks Karla. Yes, although hard, they're good fun and a serious challenge to get right.

7:41 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

A very good finishing time, congrats. Impossible for me not to look at my Garmin, I am always too curious to know what I am doing.
Indeed a perfect day to run.

5:21 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

I'd like to officially put my vote in for no shirt.

10:32 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Ha ha Runner Susan I cannot even BEGIN to put into words what came to mind.

11:03 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Susan, thanks for your vote. It will be considered (along with all the others). By the way, I'm presuming Speedygeoff is pining for the swinging 60s - when all runners went shirtless.

7:47 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Which explains why the running boom didn't start until the '70s. And even then almost no women ran.

9:05 pm  

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