Chad’s Twilight 5k Recap
The good: I broke 17, I can never(should never) complain about that, especially in the heat/humidity on a course that has broke me down before; 6th place finish in a GPx race, best ever, won my age group.
The bad: my last quarter mile, running scared, looking over my shoulder.
The ugly: I expected my time to be better than skyline, it wasn’t; my pre-race food consumption, nearly came back(literally) to haunt me.
In the past this race has dominated me: 2010: 18:31; 2009: 20:02; 2008: 22:09. So, I was excited to go into this race healthy, rested and feeling good. A Friday evening race always confuses me. I have my Saturday morning routine down so that I know just what to do when and I am usually feeling some nerves so I am not really hungry in the mornings so only nibble just a bit. But for an evening race I found my self nervously eating in the afternoon. When it got time to warm up I was not happy with how my stomach felt. The warm up felt sluggish, which is strangely sometimes a good sign. I don't know what was going on, it was a rare feeling for me that I was racing because I had to more than because I wanted to.
I was happy to see Steve Spada at the start and meet his son. I was not happy to see John Compton at the start, because despite being a great guy that just means all the rest of us get bumped down a slot.
This is the biggest 5k that I know of in Charlotte so there was a sizeable number of spectators in addition to the 1,500 or so runners. I did a few last minute strides, wished my friends well and we were off down Tryon. Aaron sprinted out to the front, led only by a Let Me Run boy who I think Aaron terrified with his warrior scream. My goal was to try and lay back and stay relaxed for the first 2 miles and then turn it on up the hills to the finish. Billy came up on me and said something about working together, which was fine with me but, I wasn't sure he would hang back with my pace. After about a third of a mile people were still going by us and Billy lost patience and left me. Spada came up on me and we ran together through the mile. the clock said 5:00, but it was really about 5:26. Good thing I race with my garmin instead of trusting the race clocks to be accurate. Feeling good thankfully, if you aren't feeling good at that point in this race, save yourself the trouble and stop.
There were a bunch of people in front of me, maybe 20? After the mile they started slowly coming back to me. I kept an eye on Billy ahead and also noticed that Richard Harris was no where to be seen. I continued to reel in people and pass them as I went down Morehead and on to Cedar. As I went down the hill on Cedar I tried to calm myself and prepare for the 6-7 minutes of hell that was coming.
The last 1.2 miles lived up to its reputation, it was a beast. The two-step sharp incline at Hartigan's was not a big deal but as always the false flat, continuing uphill that followed hurt me. I tried my best to stay strong, passing a few more people. I turned onto 4th street and appreciated the support from Michael Kahn amongst others. Still climbing and probably slowing. I was trying to regroup for that last push. Billy ahead looked to be having a great race and I struggled to make up any ground on him. I was excited to see him making up ground on BMac as there weren't many people left to pass.
Then something odd happened, Billy passed BMac and BMac stepped onto the sidewalk and waived me by, I didn’t have time to process what was happening I just kept trying to chase down Billy. Crossing Mint I got on his shoulder. The plan was to stay there until at least Tryon and then unleash a kick. For some reason unknown to me, I got impatient and I also confused Church St. with Tryon St. Thinking I was closer to the finish than I was, I made my push and opened up a good gap. Unfortunately I used just about everything I had to build the gap and now with .2 to I was no longer the predator, I was the prey.
I had just enough to hold off a furious kick from Billy. Dr. Greenapple captured a great finishing picture. In addition to the picture I have to thank Scott and Greenapple Sports and Wellness for being huge supporters of the Charlotte athletic community and also for sponsoring the Grand Prix Series and the One2tri Race Team. I am never excited to need to need their assistance, but I always know they have the tools, techniques and knowledge to get me back to my best as soon as possible. Thanks guys!
Last words: Grand Prix series races need their overall awards to go 5 deep and the Twilight 5k awards were ridiculous. John Compton won and got a pretty cool light up plaque trophy. Paul was second (always a bridesmaid) and got another of the 5k finisher medal on a different color ribbon. Then I received my award, a trophy, but not just any trophy, a trophy that lights up and is so cheesy it is awesome. Billy, a second behind me recieved another finisher medal.
P.S. I am not suppose to talk about Danielle because she had a bad race, but she still finished 3rd overall. If I didn’t love her so much it would be frustrating that she is faster on her bad days than I am on my good days, but I do! I hate to see her have a bad race, but she still battled hard and I am proud of her.