I did it: I won my first race! At least in my division (male 30-34). It was the Polar Cap 4-miler in Lake George, which was the second race I ever ran last year. Coincidentally, I wrote in that blog entry a year ago: “I think it’s realistic for me to aim for a top 3 finish in my age group for one of these races.”
November 2008 brought my first Top 3 finish in the Santa 10k. Last month I placed 2nd in my division in the Winter Wimp. And today I placed 1st! Woohoo! Of the last three local races I’ve run, I’m 3 for 3 in Top 3 finishes.
I was 13th overall today with a finish time of 27:12 (my Garmin said 27:10) , which is an average pace of 6:48 per mile. I took nearly 7 full minutes off my time last year and nearly 2 minutes per mile.
The course was much hillier than I remembered, with a big hill right at the beginning, then a long ascent in the 3rd mile, which made for my slowest mile of the day (6:57). The final mile had a bit of a downhill and went by pretty fast, so I really turned it on, clocking in a 6:35 4th mile as I flew across the finish line with a maximum pace of 5:20 in the final mile.
In the beginning, I really made an effort not to go out too fast, but I think I may have held back a bit too much (6:52). I tried to make up for it in the second mile (6:38), though. On the first hill I started passing people and ran pretty much a solo race most of the time. I overtook one guy just past the second mile and kept the lead pack in my sight almost all the way home (no one passed me the entire race, which is always a good feeling). I thought I’d be able to pass one more guy in front of me, but he kept a solid lead, so I couldn’t gain on him.
I met a couple nice people — the 2nd overall women’s finisher, who took my finish line photos; and a guy who runs a marina at Lake George.
I felt really good and am still riding the high of victory. I was awarded a gold keychain medal and will carry it with pride.
I went straight to the library, where Jen’s working today, to show off my bling. I was proud, and so was she. It was only a bummer she’s missed my past two races. Darn scheduling.
My Polar Cap 4-miler splits:
- Mile 1: 6:52 (hill)
- Mile 2: 6:38
- Mile 3: 6:57 (hill)
- Mile 4: 6:35