Bessy won Silver Strand Half Marathon 2015, and Mission Valley 5k as the overall female – so why not Roger join the tip top podium as a couple goal? Well first of all, an overall win is highly competitive for males. I (Roger) had no idea this would happen. While running the zigzag wind-pounding ONEHOPE ACT 10k course a few years back (fiesta island), which overlooked the simple flat all asphalt 5k loop, I aimed for this 5k as a PR attempt. Two days before this race, on the track with my buddy John, I nailed the run workout for the time goal (400s x 10, 800 x 1: at race pace). Come race day, Outkast’s statement proved true “you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather.”
April 30th in San Diego was rainy and gusty, topped off with a little hamstring irritation my gut told me the PR attempt was out, yet I still kept hope.
I couldn’t do the warm up I wanted. Ideally it’s a preview of the course to know where and when to push it, and to see if it was the correct distance. Note: The finish was the same area of the Resolution Run 5k that was 3.3 miles… although uncertain, I still try to keep my head in the game. The key for me is the first mile. A full-on headwind greets us at the start making the first 800m slow. Following the loop course to run around in the other direction the next 800m had no tailwind to make up for it! This meant, I was off pace by 15 seconds behind the leader. I told Al from the Tri Club San Diego, who was the bike leader, my goal time but he went too far ahead to try to pace me. Still hopeful, I decide to try to negative split until by chance we turn back into the headwind for 1.5 miles. PR chances are now out the window.
The lead male ahead kept on putting surges on me and looking back – trying to drop me. Yup…. this is a real race! I try to hold on with slow gains not mimicking his moves. Then I see it, left hand on his stomach… a side stitch from the surges (this is due to under training – he only did 15 miles in the week vs my 70; even though he has gone under 18 in 5ks before). I start gaining and pass him, not dropping the hammer yet. Finally some tailwind helps on the last 800m, but overall we faced headwind on the entire course. What an awesome feeling to hear “5k leader coming in” being radioed ahead to the finish line. Don’t screw this up I said to myself, stay smooth to the finish! Yup, the darn course was long again to 3.3 miles.
I was begging for water and my sister-in-law Behvy was there volunteering to give me a drink. We stayed around for awards were I got a bottle of red wine.
My buddy John, even though going off course, ended up getting second overall for the 10k. I hope they fix the course next year as quality local 5k races seem to be dying. 5ks with accurate distance and proper timing are important because they appeal to newbies and seasoned runners as motivation to set goals.