|With Paul at the starting line.|
Saturday June 18th was the 6th race in the RFYL Grand Prix Series, the Summer Breeze 5k. It's not particularly well named since there was no breeze to speak of. Summer Oppressive Humidity 5k would be more appropriate. The course is pretty tough. It starts with two hills before settling into a long downhill to the first mile marker. The second mile is almost entirely uphill, heading up Queens Road. After a quick turn, the third mile is mostly downhill to Freedom Park then flat around the park before the slight uphill at the finish. While there are some nice downhill sections, the second mile makes it difficult to run a really fast time. Well, that and the weather.
I settled into 6th/7th in the first mile as we went over the hills to East OBlvd and downhill on East to the mile marker. Took the first mile at 5:23 with Billy on my shoulder and a solid group, including the ever present Richard Harris, tucked in behind.
|Kicking to the finish line|
Just tacking on a bit! One of the cool parts about Summer Breeze is the separate mens and womens starts. The women went off at 7:30am and the men went off at 8:00am. That allowed the ladies to finally see the men finish and it gave us ladies the full attention of the cheering fans, which was pretty fun. Michelle took off from the gun, leaving me, Boriana, and Alyson to race for second. We hit the mile in 5:53, which is what I was hoping for, and Michelle was more like 5:45, so it was hard to be too upset with not being in the race. I pushed up the hill and tried to get some separation, which worked, but not as well as I would have liked. Alyson stayed within 10 seconds of me the rest of the race, but never really made a push to catch me. I wasn't happy with my time (19:14), but that seems to be the theme for this year. I am happy that I took the first mile out hard for once and made a move to secure second. It was like I was really racing. Almost. Minus the painfully slow time.
|Boriana & I with our awards|
On a sad note, this was the last Charlotte race with Jay and Boriana before they move. Not together, that might make their significant others mad! Jay left right after the race to head up to his fancy new producing job in NYC and Boriana left 2 weeks later for her new job in Washington D.C. While we will certainly see them both again, it's always sad when your training partners and friends move. Good luck and we'll miss you guys!