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St. Peter’s Keys 5k 2010

Saturday, April 17th, 2010 · No Comments

Stryders with medals at St. Peter's Keys Run

Instead of Dodging Deer on a muddy trail, as was the case on this weekend last year, I joined a number of my fellow Saratoga Stryders in Spa State Park for the 31st Annual St. Peter’s Keys Run. It’s actually two races: a 10k at 9am and a 5k at 11am. Some of my fellow Stryders — Richard, Peggy, Sean — were hardcore enough to run both races… and even get in some miles before both races.

I had a great time today (racing only the 5k), and as I was telling Jen after the race, running with a club makes all the difference. Not only has it helped me to get faster, but it’s been a fun way to make new friends, encourage each other, and make running more social. Besides the occasional Stryder workout over the past two years, I spent most of my first two years running solo. Not sure why. Maybe I was just acclimating myself to the sport. Regardless, it’s nice to have a fun group of running friends now.


As for the race, it was pretty much perfect conditions (~44 degrees F, overcast, and slight rain), and I felt confident going into the race that I could beat my 19:31 PR from last summer’s Fasig-Tipton 5k, thanks to all the recent speed work and training with the Stryders. The familiar turf and relatively flat roads of the State Park helped, too.

After some chit-chat at the starting line and wishing my fellow Stryders and others luck, the whistle blew and the race began. I was off to the side, and ran the first 100 meters or so in the grass along the road before falling into place. It was a fast and furious first mile, which I clocked in at a solid 6:07.


As we entered Mile 2, some runners began slowing and I started passing a few people. Though it doesn’t feel like a particularly hilly course, as I look at the elevation now, I see that there are a number of rolling hills, including a 100-foot gain in a 0.2-mile span near the end of the second mile, which explains my slowest-of-the-race mile (6:22).

With just about a mile to go, I tried to keep the pace strong and not fade too much. I passed a couple of runners in the final mile and was motivated to push even harder when I heard someone coming up behind me with just over a quarter-mile to the finish.

I heard his breathing right on my heels, so I kept on pushing as we rounded the final corner into the parking lot as the finish line came into sight. I didn’t see this other runner until after we’d crossed the line and he shook my hand, but he definitely motivated me to turn it on for my final sprint to the line (6:10 for Mile 3 and 34 seconds for the final 0.1 mile / 0.12 by Garmin, which is a 4:46 pace in that final 161-meter dash).

After I finished and caught my breath, it was fun to stick around the finish line and cheer for my fellow Stryders as they came blazing across the line one after another. I’m glad Jen also got the chance to meet so many of my running friends today (and, as always, that she’s awesome enough to stand and cheer in the cold, wet weather to capture the pictures and videos).

Official time: 19:15, a new 5k PR by a solid 16 seconds. I won my division and placed 11th overall. Rounding out the 30-34 male division were other Stryders, Chris and Sean, so it was great to have a Stryder sweep!

gabe medals

Lots of Stryders got division medals today, including Richard in the 10k, and Sean D., Peggy, Judy, and Stan in the 5k as well.

Congrats to everyone who ran a great race today! Good times!

Mile splits (view Garmin data):

Split Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR
1 0:06:07 6:07 164 173
2 0:06:22 6:22 173 174
3 0:06:10 6:10 175 176
3.1 0:00:34 4:46 176 176
Summary 0:19:15 6:10 171 176

Tags: running