Monday, September 05, 2011

Oktoberfest 5k Race Report

Aimee and I have had a great labor day weekend with family and friends. We finished our weekend at the Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest 5k Bier Run. Our friends Mandi and Dale have made this an annual race on their schedule. Aimee and I decided to join in on the fun.

Race morning was a far cry from the hot temperatures on Friday and Saturday. It rained overnight and the temperature was around 65 degrees.

We showed up an hour early to register and warm up. I saw our friend Joe V and we did a warmup run on the course. Since I had never done this race I wanted to see the entire course. I've been feeling that my knee has required some long warmup time since the surgery. We caught up with each other during out warmup just chatting away.

Back at the start area we started seeing more friends. Snakebite teammate Jason Z showed up with his family and Mark from Spin/Second Sole Multisport team was my age group competition.

We saw quite a few fast runners so I didn't know where I was going to wind up overall or in my age group, but the odds were looking pretty good.

I started the race at a good effort. Despite my "good" effort the front runners were pulling away step by step. It didnt' take long for the lead police car and speedie guys to be out of sight. I focused on the people around me and within my line of sight.

Mark passed me after the first half mile and I stayed on his shoulder. Together we passed some other runners and hit the first mile marker at 6:17, I hit my split button but didn't look at my watch. I looked ahead and needed to push the pace.

My strategy during mile 2 was to catch and pass as many people as possible. Each person was within easy striking distance with little surges to each person. One person I was trying to catch was 50 yards ahead of me and it took my a while to catch him. Of course I was stuck in no mans land and the winds coming from the north were stiff. I caught him and started going after the next target.

I passed the water station without grabbing anything to drink. My focus was on the person in front of me. The pond in front of me had a fountain shooting water into the air. The only reason I mention this is because the water was being sprayed 10 feet to the side. Of course I had to make a left turn into the wind. Beyond my target I could see Joe V. and John Z. (Jason's dad).

Into the wind I push hard to catch my victim. Once I pulled up next to him I continued by him. I could here him try to go with me but I wasn't going to give him a free ride. I passed him with authoritay......

It's part of the strategy of running I like. If you are going to pass someone make it hurt them physically and mentally. Crush their spirit and don't allow them to hang on. I know I have been crushed many times that way.

A couple hundred yard more and we turned right and were out of the wind. The rest of the course, under 1 mile, would be south and east in direction. Ever so slowly I was catching up to John Z. but time and distance was running out.

We entered the parking lot of the county fairground where the finish line was. I had actually managed to get within 10 yards of John. I kept pushing towards him and was right on his shoulder at the final turn with 50 yards to the finish line. He picked up his pace and I tried to stay with him. I crossed the finish line just off his shoulder and half a second behind.

Funny thing about races these days. Most are also chip timed. When the results were posted it turned out that I had actually beat John by .3 seconds. I had started about 2 rows behind him. Good thing were are in different age groups because it didn't affect our age group finishes.

My finish time of 19:36.9 placed me 2nd in the 40 - 44 age group and 11th overall. I managed a 6:19/mile pace which is the fastest I have seen in a couple of years.

Since this was an Oktoberfest Bier Run the awards were these awesome bier steins. Aimee and I stayed around for the Oktoberfest with some friends. I drank my beer from my award and had some very tasty bratwurst, sauerkraut, and German potato salad.

I just don't know why we haven't done this race in the past. I think this was a very well executed race. I kept my head in the game and raced strategically. And the effort definitely paid off.

We will be back again next year for more fun on the run.


Trisaratops said...

Holy crap, that's FAST! Nicely done! Awesome prize, too! :)

Christi said...

I love the stein!