Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mad Scientist 5k Race Review!

Well, it was just a little 5k, but it threw me for quite a loop, so let's review...

So I was one week removed from the Mac Forest 50k, you know...this one, but EPIC 2011 was calling, so I had to line up at the start line of the Mad Scientist 5k exactly seven days after a 50k.

I had absolutely no desire to do anything but finish on this one. Just stretch out the legs, nothing more. I conned my son, Payton, into running with me, so we stood together on the start line on a strangely warm and humid Saturday morning (the race started at 11:30!). This was going to be my third race of the year on the Midge Cramer Path at the Benton County Fairgrounds, so I shared my course wisdom with Jr. "There are a couple of rollers, but nothing serious. They'll take us out on the path for about a mile and a half and turn us around. We finish on a nice downhill."

God, I'm a naive idiot sometimes.

The race director said start and Payton jumped out quickly as per his usual tactics. To his credit, he tried to reel it back and we crossed the one mile mark together at about 8:20. Perfect. Just what the doctor ordered for my tired legs.

There were only 30 people total in the race, and only about six or seven in front of us, so I didn't panic when I looked up and didn't see anyone on the path in front of us. I did, however, panic when I saw the volunteer pointing us off the bike path...and onto a trail...up Bald Hill.

You've got to be kidding me!

All of the sudden, my easy 5k took on ominous, dare I say sadistic, overtones. Now this isn't a long hill, but it's fairly steep, and I was SO not mentally prepared for a hill. Frankly, Payton wasn't in the mood either, so we took our time going up, then raced on the way back down. That boy can run downhill!

Finally back on the bike path, I sneered at every volunteer I saw on the way back to the finish. Payton and I both managed to squeeze top-10 finishes out of it. Payton took 3rd in his age group, with two 19 year olds beating him (doesn't seem quite fair for an 11 year old to have to race against adults, but there you go), while I took first in my age group...as the only old man out there.

Luckily, there was one saving grace at the finish - a periodic table of elements...made out of cookies! With frosting matching the different groupings of the elements. They said to grab your favorite, so Payton took Uranium and I grabbed Californium. Good cookies too, nice and warm in the sun.

Until Memorial Day, when the EPIC train rolls on with the Heart of the Valley Triathlon!

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