After directing the Nutty Runners 10k and 5k on Saturday, I headed down to San Marino to run in the Young Life 5k on Sunday morning. Young Life is an organization I regularly support.
Before the race one of the volunteers, who knows that I am a runner told me that I was going to win… I laughed a bit and pointed out that the crowd of more than 200 runners seemed to be mostly teens and 20 somethings…. not much chance for a runner my age. She assured me that though they looked young… most of them would be walking…. we’ll see.
I got myself in front for the start so as not to have to run around walkers. The race started on a beautiful residential street with a gradual downhill. Sure enough, a bunch of kids and young people took off quickly but after a half mile some of them were walking. Only 6 or 8 people were out ahead of me. There was a young man and a young woman pacing right with me.
After a first mile at around 7:30 pace we turned and began to climb a little. There was one short steep section where the two younger runners edged ahead, but then we turned and had a short downhill where I got back in front. In this second mile, though their presence behind me faded away. Meanwhile I was picking off younger runners.
There seemed to be just 3 left… .one at least a couple hundred meters ahead and two others that were closer… faltering. They would slow significantly, I would get close, they would notice and they would spring out ahead again. Early in the 3rd mile we turned to go up the longest hill and I pulled along side them. Then ahead. I saw the lone runner still a ways ahead turn the corner and then a minute or two later I did the same… Just to be sure I asked the mime – who was directing traffic at the corner if I was in 2nd… He confirmed.
The last half mile was all downhill! I took off as best as I could trying to put a gap on the youngsters. I could not hear them back there… As I started the last block I sneaked a peek and saw one so I tried even harder to find a kick… Alas, I am no match for out kicking college age youngsters… He sprinted by 20 meters before the finish….
I finished in third place overall out of 225 finishers in a time of 23:20… a lot better than the 25 minutes just a couple of weeks ago…. alas, they did not hand out any medals or awards except for the fastest male and the fastest female….
Still… it was a good day. I plan to do this one again….