Last year, this was my goal race to log a sub-20 minute 5K time on a certified course. I was sure I had it locked up until I was hit with some sort of apocalyptic 24 hour flu bug. I lost about 5 lbs in a day and knew there was no way I could race the next day. After missing the Confederation Park 5K when my son was born, I had to fight the hills at the Beamsville Bench 5K to get that sub-20. Fast forward to this year and I was excited to see what I could do on the Jordan course which is reputed to be a fast one.
For Jordan in 2012 I had a new goal of setting a 5K PB (<18:47) but given how unexpectedly consistent my running had been this winter/spring, I had real hopes that I could go under 18 minutes. This time was my sole focus, as I had seen the times from past years and read Daniel MacKinnon’s race report from last year and had written off an age group podium spot even if I made my time goal.
Off the start the pace was high (as I expected) so after a few hundred meters I checked my garmin and decided to mentally detach myself from the race and run only based on how I was feeling. There were only a few runners around me after the 2k point, and I was maintaining a pace I was very happy with and still feeling strong. I had my doubts that I could carry the pace to the finish, but before I knew it I was coming up on 4 km. I reminded myself how short 1 km was and that I could keep the tempo high for that much longer. Coming through the last 500 metres I was closing in on the female runner ahead of me, but (thankfully) realized she was the lead woman. I didn’t push to get ahead of her in the finishing chute where they had already pulled across the tape! I crossed in 17:31. I was very happy with that time, especially since I felt like I had maintained a smart, steady pace for the duration.
I stopped to get some congratulatory hugs from my kids and then ran back along the course to find my wife who was closing in on a PB as well. I urged her to keep going, and then made it back to the finish line in time to see her get in under her goal time. They announced that they would be presenting awards shortly, and at the last minute I decided to run into the arena and check the times. I was very surprised to see that I was 2nd in my age group, and since 1st was also 3rd overall, I ended up first in 30-34. Definitely unexpected but great to get a medal and some series points.
After the race there was some great BBQ food and an easter egg hunt for the kids. Overall it was another excellent Subaru Niagara race, and I am happy to report that the tradition Jerry Friesen built is going strong with the new organizers. This is definitely a great race to post a 5K PB… as long as your off season hasn’t left you too deep in hibernation!
Thanks to Mike Cheliak / My Sports Shooter Photography for providing the photos www.mysportsshooter.com