Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Flat and fast" does not mean "hard and hilly"--Viking Sunset 5k recap

You know how you sign up (and encourage others to sign up) for races that advertise that their course is "flat and fast" in hopes of PRing?? The Viking Sunset 5k was one of those races for me. I did it in 2008 and PRd by like 20 seconds (doing it as a workout!), so I of course signed up and encouraged others to do the same.

I knew the course had changed from my 2008 PR, BUT the website and email both still noted it as "fast and flat" with a track finish, so I figured it'd be pretty similar.


I ran a warmup with a DPFT teammate and noticed a slight incline in the beginning 1/2 mile, not really thinking much of it because finding a 100% flat course isn't an easy task! We both figured it'd be flat the rest of the time.

After changing my race time goal due to the heat (85-90degrees and super humid), I was ready to run. In 5ks, I tend to start the first mile off faster and then try to maintain for as long as possible since that's how I've had success this year. The first mile was 5:39, perfect.

Then the hills began. Around mile 1.5 is when Ryan caught up to me as he was doing a workout himself. He could see I was struggling (and knows I have a history of passing out from the heat) so was great and decided to run with me. The second mile was 6:10, which again was fine with the heat, but I told Ryan I was dying with the heat. He told me that the last 1.1 was going to be just based on effort, so I agreed and just ran what I could.

I will say I dislike the finish of this race as it is almost a full lap on the track, which kills me because we are SO close to the finish it's like a tease! But, I still broke 19 (18:58) which was the changed goal and again something I could barely do last year.

A LOT of people were frustrated that this race was listed as flat and fast when it wasn't. After being a race director, I know how hard it is to please everyone and no longer complain about things that are hard to control from the director standpoint. However, advertising as flat and fast on a hilly course just really frustrated me and others, so I did respond to that on the survey. I heard the reason that the course changed was due to the old course's track being under construction. I sure hope that next year it is moved back to the original course.

On the bright side, I got to run with my DPFT teammates which always makes for a great day:)

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