Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Festival 10k Race Review!

So we roll into the first official Fall run, the appropriately named Fall Festival 10k and 5k, and what's there to greet us? Yeah, wind and rain. It's Fall, baby!

Of course, the first problem with early fall runs is what to wear. You can check the skies heading out the door, but that doesn't mean you'll get that weather during the actual race. And indeed, during the 10k, we had sun, overcast, rain, wind, then finally overcast again.

I played it somewhat conservatively and just wore a light, long-sleeve tech tee and my sunglasses. Good enough!

I believe this is the first time I've run the Fall Festival 10k since I've been in Corvallis and right away I realized that the start times were not well-designed. The 5k runners go first, at 9:10, then the 10k runners go five minutes later, at 9:15. Hmmmm...five minutes is not enough of a gap to get slow runners, and walkers, out of the way. I'm not sure why they don't make it 10 or 15 minutes in between the two starts to at least get the bulk of the 5k runners out of the way, but...oh well.

So off we went at 9:15 and immediately crossed the never-ending 9th street construction. Hey, nothing like a little gravel and dirt road to start off - man, they've been working on that street for months! Let's go!

We quickly moved onto the OSU campus and then across and onto the Campus Way bike path that goes out to the covered bridge. It was about there that the wind really picked up. And the rain. It was ugly for about two minutes and I was struggling against the wind. I thought for a second that my PR try could be in trouble if it didn't let up.

But then, as it's wont to do in the Pac NW in the Fall, the rain went away, we turned around at 53rd to get the wind at our backs and I stopped complaining!

The third mile split was the only one that worried me - my only split over 8:00 on the day - but I hit the mile 4 marker back under my pace, so I relaxed a bit as we came back onto campus. A nice downhill section on 30th all the way down to Reser Stadium and then around and back up the hill in front of Dixon. Crested that little hill and then I knew we were flat or downhill for about the last half mile.

Right about then, some Five Fingers-wearing guy asked me three times over a quarter mile how much farther we had to go - he must have seen the awesome Garmin 110 on my wrist - after the third time, I almost told him to go buy a stinking Garmin for himself, but hey, it's all good. I just don't have a lot of oxygen left for talking when I'm trying to set a PR here!

I knew about there that I was going to have a PR, it was just a matter of how much I could beat it by. I was shooting to beat 50:41 and I brought it in at 48:57, so I'm very pleased with that. Slowly but surely, I'm getting some speed back. Maybe I can go after that old 5k PR next year after all.

But I didn't have nearly as much speed as the first female finisher, one Helen Rarick from Beaverton, who ran an absolutely smoking 35:43, for a 5:45 pace! That was good for fourth overall! Wow, nice run, Helen. Check all the results here.

Here's a view of the Fall Festival Run shirt. Hey, it's not art by the famous Fall Festival poster artist Jen Lommers, but it's not bad.

So that's two PR's in two weeks. Do I have another PR in me for 2011? You bet your sweet bippy! Because in a couple weeks, I have the McDonald Forest 15k, and I far as I know, I've never run a 15k in my life. PR, baby!

See you next week at the Beavers Building Haiti 5k.

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