First, these 5K’s are usually pretty small….especially for this race agency. Only about 600 people ran it. Of those 600, only 251 people took a time chip. So, Competition was not as fierce as previous races.
Second: It was HOT! Even at 9 P.M. The Temp was 82 Degrees 69 % humidity. Everyone was running with that heat, making the times slower on average. Then again, it IS still summer.
Last: The dark. Even with all the glow sticks, it was pretty dark around the route. A few street lamps dimly lit up the night in certain areas, but not all of them. Even I had to confront the darkness when I ran to the turn around point. The Street lights were off and for a few moments, I could not see the sidewalk in front of me. Cheryl admitted that it was the same for her.
With that all being said, Cheryl still managed to beat the competition that was there under all of those conditions. The Condition are a Universal……So Everyone had to deal with the heat and darkness. And Cheryl managed to rise to the top of it all. YEAH!
At the turn around, Cheryl tried to warm up a bit, navigating the cones while it was still light.
Darkness came soon enough, and I knew I was going to have a challenge with the camera’s ability to capture a picture in the poor lighting. Maybe there is a knack to it, but I have not discovered it. Add to that that the battery on the Camera threatened to die at any moment. I figured what few pictures I could get, I had better be judicious when taking them.
Cheryl only put on a couple of glowing items. Enough to “almost join in” the spirit of the run. The Rest of the items Cheryl made me wear. I didn’t mind. I was the only one with a cowbell and flashing glasses.
In the dark, the camera keeps the exposure open longer….creating these cool spectral images with neon lighting. Pretty cool. Forget about focus! Any movement I made, no matter how small, pretty much blurred the image beyond recognition. I still managed to get a shot of Cheryl at the turn around. She was leading the women by about 30 seconds! I was very excited!
I managed to snap one picture of her approaching the finish, before the camera finally died. I was unable to catch her crossing the finish with her finishing time clearly displayed. In the end, She was the first female to finish. Her Chip time ( official time) was 23:22 with an average pace of 7:31. She came in 9th over all ( only 8 men where ahead of her!) The only competition was a lady by the name of Wendy. She lives here in Wellman, and she was only about 25 seconds behind Cheryl. Wendy has beaten Cheryl in the “Dam to Down Town” race and the Red Shoe half marathon. ( I think….) Her finishing times are close to Cheryl's and this is the first time Cheryl has bested her. We talked for a while after the run as we ate the snacks the event organizers provided.
It is unfortunate that Cheryl did not receive any additional “trinkets” to commemorate her victory last night. Unlike the Lucky Run, they did not hand out any Age, Master, or Overall first place winner trophies. Just a T-Shirt and a Medal….and lots of cookies and snacks! Overall it was fun….and Cheryl liked experiencing the race from the very front for once. Oh, She DID set a new personal record for the 5K distance, beating her previous record by 25 seconds.
So, After running 8 miles that morning; Running in the dark; AND running in the heat; Cheryl not only pulled off a new PR but managed to outperform the locals to finish first. Not a bad showing.
I guess we have Omaha half marathon coming up in a couple of weeks and then the Twin Cities Marathon. With the weather bound to cool off by then, Cheryl hopefully will gain a little more confidence to reign in that Boston Qual Time. We shall see.