I love 5K’s. Straight up pedal to the metal maximum overdrive with a smile. A breakfast full of pain that ends as quickly as it started.
The Percy Sutton 5K is one of maybe two NYRR races of this distance and just as I predicted, all the speedsters came to play.
Kelly met Abbe and I in front of my apartment (we no longer live next door so she had to hoof it up the 10 blocks) and we set off to the start. It was a 3.5 mile warm up that I definitely wanted. Running a 5K without a warm up isn’t smart. Imagine starting up your car and immediately slamming down the gas pedal.
We had a lovely run through Harlem and up to the start of the race. I saw Antonio and Sebastien before getting corralled up. Speaking of corrals, Abbe got to be in Blue with me for the first time ever! Hey there speedster, nice to meet ya! After a few words from Mary and a very cool trumpet performance of the National Anthem we were off.
It took me 14 seconds to get to the Start mat and begin.
I would like to take this moment to go on a rant. I noticed that there were a lot of people sneaking into the Blue Corral. Not just people in Red from the next fastest corral right behind us, but people who were in Orange and Yellow too. This defeats the whole purpose of having a corral system. If you think you deserve to be in a faster corral, then earn it like the rest of us.
As soon as I was in the mix that little button in my mind ‘clicked on’ and I was on the hunt. Originally, I was just going to get it done and run a nice manageable pace. Maybe next time. I was bobbing and weaving through all of the runners trying to get up to maximum speed. By the first 1/2 of a mile I had broken free and was in a group where we were running roughly the she pace.
Just after this point we starting going up a huge hill! I had thought this was a mostly flat course but was totally wrong! We were running up into the Heights! It hurt bad but I held my pace and made it up to the top of the long ascent.
Right past the first mile I started picking it up a little more. As I was passing some people I saw this guy with his shirt draped over his back with an ORANGE BIB! How did he get so far up? Oh I know, he snuck into the very front of the Blue Corral. As I passed him he hung onto my pace and followed me. Then, as we were taking a sharp left he came around to my right and tried to box me out! My adrenaline spiked and I broke hard right knocking past him with my shoulder and firing my afterburners, leaving him behind. Peace out cheater.
Fun fact: The only sport I ever played growing up was Ice Hockey.
We were now in the Heights running along the top of the park. My legs were tired but actually felt pretty good. I pressed forward.
Past Mile 2 we started heading downhill. You can really wipe out going downhill at 5K speed so I tried to maintain some control and not over do it.
We broke hard left again and were in the finishing straight away. I made a few more passes but was fading out. At the last 100 meters this guy came barreling past me like a bat out of hell! Props to you speedy stranger!
I finished in 18:03. Not a PR, but it did knock my NYRR ‘on file’ pace from a 5:52 to a 5:50.
After I dumped some water on my head and slammed 2 cups I found Sebastien and we chatted for a bit. I also saw Antonio and got to meet David. They all had fantastic races.
This moment right here is what I love most about the local racing scene. Hanging out with friends, chatting about our times, having a few laughs. There really isn’t a feeling of competitiveness at all. Each of us complimenting us on one anothers different strengths, whether it be speed or distance.
I found Abbe, Kelly and Amanda after the race. We headed back to my place for eggs, bacon and coffee! Woooo. All before 9:30AM.