Sidney Days 5K Race Report
7.1.2007 – Sidney By The Sea, BC, Canada
Triathletes celebrate things in funny ways. For birthdays, we usually do insanely long swim sets. A great night is one where we are in bed before 9pm. And, this past Sunday, in honor of Canada Day, I decided to race a 5k. I’d never raced a 5k (that’s 3.1 miles for you non-metric folks) before, except as part of a sprint triathlon. I’ve done a fair number of ~15′ races, as that is about how long a rowing head race (also usually about 5k long) takes. So I figured I had some idea as to the level of hurt I was about to experience. Of course, I was a better rower than runner, so I anticipated N amount more hurt. “N” is a bit of an inside thing, as N is this arbitrary number that can represent how many intervals you are going to do “we are going to do N 100’s” or how many bikes you need “N+1 where N is the number you have.” So this 5k was going to hurt N-times more than most other running races I’d done. But it was, hopefully, going to be much shorter. My goal for the race was to break 16:30, which would work out 3:18/km or roughly 5:18/mile.
The course is a measured and certified course, so none of the funny business you often get in triathlons with courses that are “pretty close.” It was also pretty much pancake flat, with the only slow part being a U-turn turnaround halfway through. The first 1km, I took off fast, wanting to get out in front of all the other people racing. My main competition was two guys I train with every day – “Book’em” Danno Wells and Andrew “Cunego” McCartney. Danno lead from the get-go, driving us through the first 1km in under 3:00 (4:44/mile pace). The pace settled a bit from there, as Danno pulled away running 3:15/km pace while I settled in at just over 3:20/km pace. McCartney fell back about 2km in, and I ran with a local runner whom I did not know until the 3km mark, when he started to pull away. I held at about 20-30m back of him through 4.5km, when Coach Joel said “it would be BAMF if you caught that guy.” So I revved up the motor and reeled him in over the last 150m or so to finish 2nd in 16:19, a personal best.
Danno won the racing in a blazing 15:53, which made me happy as he’s worked incredibly hard since joining our training group in Flagstaff this past January. We both still have a long way to go to catch the likes of Kyle Jones and Simon Whitfield, both of whom run <14:10 for 5k, but this is a good first step towards my eventual goal of running close to 15:00 flat for 5k.