Thursday, July 5, 2007

Racing the Freedom Run 5K


Yesterday, on July 4th, I celebrated Independence Day by joining about 150 other runners for Nevada City’s first annual Freedom Run. The event, organized by the Nevada Union Runners Booster Club, was a fundraiser for the Nevada Union High School track and cross-country teams. It was also the seventh run in the Gold Country Grand Prix series. After this event, the Grand Prix series will take a summer break with the next run scheduled for the end of September (The Draft Horse Classic).

Most GP races offer a 5K and a 10K race, but this race was only a 5K. This seems fair, because the Salmon run only offered a 10K option. It also levels the playing field, because runners now have to compete head to head with the other runners in their age group.

5K is definitely not my specialty. I knew this going in, especially these days, since I am now in 100-mile training mode, but today’s results proved it once more.

The race started at 8 a.m. at the High School soccer field. The front-runner, Andrew Primrose, who ended up winning the race in 18:14, took off with lightning-speed and the rest of the pack followed. I followed Greg Ngo and Larry Defeyter up and down the cross-country trails. It was already getting hot in the exposed sections. As Larry started disappearing, I tried to stay close to Greg, hoping that it would come down to a sprint on the track. Greg, however, kept a really strong pace and dropped me about a mile before the finish. V Neelakantan also passed me, never to be seen again.

I was passed by two people on the last uphill, but caught them again coming into the stadium. Finishing on the track is always a lot of fun, I ran the 7/8 lap on the track in about one minute and finished in 20:28, which was good for 8th place overall and third in the 30-30 age group.
Discussing the Grand Prix results with runner and Union Newspaper (running) columnist Steve Bond
Right behind me, Rough and Ready’s Austin Violette, who just finished pacing Don Zea for 20 miles at Western States ten days earlier, battled it out for the top spot in the 13-15 GP age group with Nevada City’s Danny Heinz. Austin passed Danny with less than 200 yards to go. I think Austin is ready to step it up to some ultra distances and I have no doubt that he will do very well.
Sean's sub-30 finish

Sean told me he wanted to run sub-30 and succeeded. Rocky ran 33:15 and Vicky, who had been sent the wrong way by one of the volunteers on this otherwise perfectly organized run, walked and ran the course in about 48 minutes. All in all, we had a good time and we all did pretty well in this first part of the Grand Prix series.
Rocky, bringing it home

Next up, a solo 20-mile training run on the TRT100 course at Mount Rose this weekend and then, the 100 mile race itself on July 21st. I can’t wait!

1 comment:

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