I'm glad somebody is pickin up the ball that the city of Sparks dropped when it started getting cheap &/or cancelling their races. The new sports superstore is doing a pretty good job of giving runners races several times a year. They're still (only) out at the Sparks Marina (and i'll address the course issues in a sec) but they're trying...and that's a good thing. There are a ton of good runners in this area, but it's been a rough go of it as far as local races are concerned.
We woke up to close to freezing temps and some wind. Where'd spring go? Actually, it was pretty nice later in the day, but 34 degrees with a breeze when I pulled into Scheel's at 7:15. I'd run here in August (yes, the one where I got chicked), but I didn't see anything where the start had been, and the finish chute was facing the other direction. Silly me, thinking the course would be the same. Actually, I'd hoped that they lengthened it by a hundred meters, as it was short last time, but no need to change anything else, right? Right??
Wrong again, Bob! During my warm-up, I saw that the mile markers were all far off from where they'd been before. My old training partner Fred (and I do mean old) showed me a map they had at the sign-in table, and it was, indeed, a totally different course. We took off right at 8, and I was a bit surprised at how many people took off fast. I started about fifth, and worked my way up to second, and stuck there for a minute or two before taking the lead just before the half mile mark. Just after the half mile mark there was a nice, speed-killing 180 degree turn around a cone...and we then proceeded to run directly back into the other 400 runners. Gotta say - liked the old innacurate course better. There was a bike out front, but we were running against the entire field on an 8-10 foot wide concrete path. Not a good idea, guys.
Anyway, as it turned out, the mile splits were about even. The only problem was that each mile was about 10 seconds slower than what I had in mind. 5:22, 5:26, 5:25, :31 ~ 16:44. Maybe due to the cold (at least I hope so) my legs never felt warm, and I was never able to hit the gear I wanted to hit, even at the end. Lucky for me, 2nd place faded to 3rd, and Fred worked his way up from 6th at the early turn to 2nd at the end, 15-20 seconds back. So - I was able to hold onto the lead, & got my man card back for finishing a minute in front of the one who did the chicking 7 months ago. After a long cool-down and a cold awards ceremony, we thawed out over coffee & breakfast with Fred & his family (Ian & Deb also ran), Kevin, & Al. I was feeling good enough to get a full weight workout in at the gym before going in to work @1, but of course am having a relapse of an old injury today. Got a full run and weights in today too, but can't bend, turn, move, etc...
Next up most likely is the Zoo Zoom 5k on 4-11...one more shot at breaking 16 minutes.