Route: Corktown 5K
Distance: 3.1 miles
Total Time: 28:44
Temp: 62 and sunny
The first race of 2012 is in the books! The sun was shining, the temp was in the low 60's and me and about 8000 of my closest friends decided to amble up Michigan Avenue in Detroit. I had an internal goal of at least tying my best time from last year, 28:46 at the Jamesers 5k in October. I thought there might be an outside chance I could hit my year goal in the first 5k of the season, which is to run one in under a 9 minute per mile pace.
I started off strong, rocking to "Don't Let Me be Misunderstood" by Santa Esmerelda. This song was such a great motivator, I would listen to only it for the full 5k. With the warm weather (I actually had to wear sunscreen!), my legs were quickly warmed up and the first mile flew by in 8:48.This was right about where I wanted to be, maybe even a little slower. The problem was that with so many people starting, it was very hard to get in a set rhythm early. As the pack thinned a little bit I was able to catch my stride.
The first half of mile 2 went by very quickly. Once you cross into Downtown, it seems it is only a minute and you are turning around at Campus Martius. The trip back was not so kind. I felt strong all the way through the end of mile 2, but by mid mile 3 I was fading. The great part about this race is that you are running along a parade route, so there are literally thousands of people cheering you on. This was a great motivator, and one thing that seperates this race from many. No lonely finishes here.
As I came into the slight turn toward the finish shoot, I was able to kick it in pretty well, and I am glad I did, becasue I beat my PR by two seconds. The atmosphere at this race is top notch. While running I saw at least 3 runners stop to shotgun beers given to them by the crowd. While I do not in any way condone drinking while running, it does give you an idea of the atmosphere of the race. It feels like a giant party where a run broke out.
Another crazy note, someone who I ran HS cross country with was also in the race and finished 12 seconds ahead of me, out of 8K runners. I tried to find him before the race, but it was pretty much impossible. Hopefully we can do some runs together in the future.
No rest for the weary though, my first half of the season is in two weeks! I am excited to run the Rock CF Half on Grosse Isle for the first time, it has gooten rave reviews from some of my runner friends. That means that this weekend is the dreaded long run of 12+ miles. Hopefully this weather holds out.