Posted by: David Stewart | May 2, 2010

CInco de Mayo 5K Race Report

Summary: Second 5K, PR, 2/AG, 22nd overall, 21:38 minutes, 6:57 pace per mile

May 2 is not May 5, but it is, as the race announcer said, the holiday which celebrates the birth of Tequila.

The race is a downtown Portland party, with a 5K, 10K and a new-this-year Half Marathon. Afterwards there is Mexican food, beer and mariachis.

I ran the 5K last year at the behest of my brand new running coach, who wanted it as an adjunct to the VO2 Max test I did on the treadmill. I ran a 7:23 pace per mile for that race, and it was the first year I placed in the top ten male masters, without really trying too hard. This year, coach wanted me to run a 7:00 minute per mile pace overall. My highest aspiration was to run 20:00 minutes or under.

The race started at 8:00AM, but I decided to come down early to get a good parking spot and have plenty of time to warm up. I got downtown at 6:34AM, only to discover that I had left my race bib and timing chip back home on the kitchen counter, where I was sure to remember it. So I turned around and returned to Beaverton, picked up my miscreant materials, and returned. Here’s a tip: for the Salmon Street Springs, parking at OMSI just across the Hawthorne Bridge, is very convenient. (Thanks Holly!)

I did a lot of warm-up according to the coach’s instructions: 10-15 minutes of aerobic, 3-5 minutes of tempo, easy running then pickups. Then an easy jog to the start line. Before the race even started, I was well warmed up and sweating in the 50 degree morning.

This year’s course was changed to run from Salmon street up Naito Parkway to Lincoln, cross up to 4th avenue and continue up past the track at Duniway until just before the crossing of Barber and Naito. Then turn left down a side street back to Naito and then downhill back to the start.

The new course wasn’t as good as the old course. In particular, when you turn left off of Barber to run down through the neighborhood to Naito, the street surface is really broken up as it is in that part of town, and it’s a steep grade downhill. You need to choose between running full speed or running carefully so you don’t crash headlong down the street.

This is my last year in the men’s 45-49 age group. I already knew Joe Dudman was brand new in this age group and was signed up for the race. Since he came in like 2nd overall, I knew I wasn’t going to win my age group. But I was surprised and pleased to come in second. Because Joe won second place for the race overall, I got a nice blue ribbon that says 1st place.

It was fun chatting with a couple of guys in the men’s 70-75 year age group. Experienced runners, they were amused at how they would come in first in their AG when they first entered it, but would tend to slip back as the years go by.

I know the race isn’t as cool as the Eugene Marathon races, but it was nice to have a good result for the coach. Now… on to the Sauvie Island Flat Half!

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