How often in life do you get to combine two of your favorite things? For example, a running race and watching a baseball game. Not very often, so I have to give a superbad shoutout to the HOTV Runners for providing this opportunity to the local community. And for the second year in a row I took advantage and ran the Out to the Ballgame 5K Fun Run...this time without a jogging stroller. Turns out I can run faster without it.
Going into the race I was cautiously optimistic...I had been running a lot lately and my legs were feeling dead, but it was only a 5K and I've had good races on what I thought were tired legs before. At the starting line I could see my competition would be Gonzalo Martinez and Tyler Childers...they both went out together and I just situated myself right in behind them.
Somewhere before we hit the first mile, Tyler dropped back. Now Gonzalo was leading and I was right on his shoulder. We hit mile 1 a little under 5:30...right in my wheelhouse, I thought...I run 5:30 miles all the time! But shortly thereafter, I could feel Gonzalo pulling away ever so slightly. I knew I had to keep contact...I surged on a slight downhill and caught back up. We ran out to 30th and took a left, headed south. At Washington we made a U-turn and headed back north. In this stretch, I was running alongside Gonzalo and then pulled ahead slightly. We hit mile 2 again just under 5:30 and I was in the lead. We headed back up Jefferson toward the Memorial Union and went around the quad toward the library. I could feel and hear Gonzalo right behind me. I tried to surge on the downhill past the library and felt like I created a little bit of a gap, but knew I couldn't let up. The good news was my legs felt fine...my gut was a little upset, but I felt like he would have to run near 5:00 minute pace to beat me now. As we headed around the outside of the baseball field I started to think that I had it won, but once we got onto the warning track he put in one more surge. As we headed down the third base line toward the finish at home plate, I finally looked back and he was right there! I gave it everything I had left and just barely held him off...by less than half a second (16:49.88 vs. 16:50.33)!
That was fun...thanks for the race Gonzalo and thanks again to the HOTV Runners for organizing such a fun event. For winning, I got a baseball autographed by all the Corvallis Knights...that was cool, but maybe next year the winner could throw out the first pitch?
11 months ago