Saturday, August 24, 2013

Colts 5K race recap

The Indianapolis Colts Back to Football 5k was the coolest race ever! I had a great time. The NFL Run Series / Colts crew did everything right for this race, starting with the wave start. Pace sings were posted and runners were asked to choose the corral closest to their expected finish time. More importantly, those with strollers and those who planned to walk were asked to line up in the last corral. This is very important because I feel that race directors can be laissez-faire about 5ks and just let the runners/walkers do what they want. In fact, many of the runners with strollers and walkers who get up front do so because they think they are "getting out of the way." Um, no. You are doing the exact opposite. Other things they did right:

  • Hosting packet pick-up the day before.
  • Including d-tags for timing
  • Each runner/walker received a t-shirt and a medal. 

You don't usually see all of these details with a 5K. Kudos to the the race directors for setting this up properly.

I lined up in the 8-minute mile corral, but soon realized that I was with the 7-minute mile runners. It was too late to move. Whoops. Next, someone beautifully sang the National Anthem and we were ready for the 10-second count down.

In that moment, I thought to myself that this is going to be fun. I'm here to run and have a great time. I got up earlier that morning to run an easy 6 miles before the race so I wasn't exactly on fresh legs, but I was definitely warmed up. I am still in the midst of marathon training and since Saturdays are my long runs, I waned to get it in early. In this step-back week, my long run goal was 10-12 miles. I was close.

The horn sounded and we are off. I started my watch as I crossed the timing matt. I didn't want to go out too fast for the first mile. I have a pretty decent kick if I don't do too much too soon. I ran the first mile around 8:30 and it felt great. I thought that I should increase the pace a bit to mile 2, but somewhere around mile 1.4, my GPS watch lost its signal. Miffed by what was going on with my watch, I slowed down. I quickly regrouped, set my watch to view time elapsed and set my focus back on the run. 2 miles in (not sure of the time) I still felt good. At this point, I started to pick up the pace even more. I set my eyes on a runner in front of me to pass. I would catch them, pass them and find a new target. This worked out pretty well for about three quarters of a mile then I started to fade. Whoa. I started feeling every bit of the 6 miles I ran earlier, the only 4 hours of sleep I got the night before and the bright sun beaming down on us.

"I can't stop now," I said to myself. We were nearing the chute to enter the stadium. Who slows down in the home stretch? We turn a corner into a parking lot at Lucas Oil Stadium, less than 100 yes from the field. I catch a glimpse of the 3-mile marker ahead and just go for it. I used the down hill to my advantage and really picked up speed. We ran through the back of the stadium and up the chute to the field. The finish line was near.

Another totally awesome thing about this race was that they set up special timing matts to time each runner in their final 40 yards of the race. Awards go to the top male and top female 40yd dash time. I heard the announcer remind the incoming runners of the 40yd dash challenge and I turned it on full speed. I used all of my sprinter skills to race to the finish line. I can't wait to find out what my 40 time was. My best while a sprinter at Coastal was 4.7. I doubt I did that today, but I felt pretty darn fast coming through the finish. I was so focused on the final 40 that I didn't see my final time. I assume I finished somewhere between 25 and 26 minutes. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The race ended with runners hanging out on the football field.  As I looked up at the stands, I was in awe of how cool this was. What an amazing race!
I finished on the 50!
The medal.
BGR! Indy ladies that ran the 5K

Sweet finisher t-shirt

Colts Cheerleaders
What is your favorite race? Are any of you going to run this 5K in your area?


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