Saturday, April 04, 2009

RACE: Downtown Melbourne 5K @22:12, Downtown Melbourne, FL

This morning was the Downtown Melbourne 5K benefiting The Haven, a local organization that strives to meet the needs of neglected and abused children in Brevard County.

This race is maybe the only one in which the men and the women compete separately. Each year they alternate, and this year the men raced first at 7:30am; the women raced at 8:15am.

This was my fifth race in the 08-09 SCR ROY Series. I saw that I was the only person in the Men's 25-29 age group, so I entered this race to qualify for awards. I didn't have to run hard, just finish. But still, I came away with a season-best time of 22:12.

The course is essentially a double loop of Downtown Melbourne, with an small detour the first time on the back end, so there were some extra cones set up along a couple of the side streets. Well, on the first stretch of the race, I saw the front-runners make a left a few blocks early. When I reached that corner, I heard someone yell, "Go Straight!", and sure enough, those people were running off-course. I could understand their confusion because there was a tall old guy directing the runners down the wrong street -- was he a race official? volunteer? random spectator? -- either way, it really did suck for them.

I wasn't fast enough to have made the wrong turn but I did get to enjoy being near the "front pack" for an extra half mile or so. There were others near me that were ecstatic that they were "ahead of Art Anderson!". Anyways, the pressure was off, and I was able to run a pretty steady race. My splits were the following:

        Mile 1 - 6:55 (wow!)
        Mile 2 - 14:15 (7:20 is a good 2nd mile)
        Mile 3.1 - 22:12 (season best, woo!)

I came in 6th of 22 guys in my age group; 5th place was nearly a minute ahead of me, so I'm all good with that. And I was 72nd overall out of 233 men -- Top Third!. It was a fast course, even with hills.

I did take pictures at this race... about 250 of them -- I got more of the women's race (which ran smoothly) and of the youth series race. Asides from being really tired from a few nights of less-than-optimal sleep (quantity, not quality), this morning was really nice. I knew so many people there, and the sense of community was absolutely fantastic. It was an opportunity to catch up with friends.

I guess that I'll leave it there, and move onto managing all of the photos. I'd like to have it done and up on fotki before I head out to Orlando tonight.


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