Clay and I reprised our roll as the "Nutty Runner Peanuts" at the second annual Nutty Runners 5k. The race director is a close friend of ours, Dale Lister. Last year the weather was aweful, cold and windy. I am talking 30+ mph winds, and the peanut costume acted like a huge parachute making the second half of the race tough. I won the race last year with a time of 19:12. I was in great shape from training for LD50 and Charlottesville 10 miler. This year the weather was almost perfect. The temp was in the high 50s/low 60s and almost completely calm. Dale had over 200 pre-register this year! I think another 40 or 50 walk ups the day of! It was a great turnout. I finished in 3rd pace with a time of 18:48, 24 seconds faster than last year and less fit (that tells you how bad the winds were last year).
The race started off as usual, with the junior high age kids taking off as if they were running a 400m race. I think kids have two speeds at that age, on and off. Pacing is a tough thing to learn and it takes years of practice. I started out what I thought was conservative, letting all the kids go. I watched as Neil Small (the eventual winner today) quickly picked off all the kids and then took off on this own. He distanced himself from us within a half mile. There were two other "grown ups" ahead of me at the mile mark that I hit in 5:58. I made the turn around in 4th place and almost got run over by a group of horses! They were preparing for the upcoming parade. At about 1.5 miles I caught Justin Gillen and passed him. I was sure he would go with me but I think I gapped him a little as we continued back to the track for the 1.5 lap finish. My second mile was 6:02 and I was starting to "feel the burn" or "tie up" a little, what ever you want to call it. I was struggling to maintain pace. I peeked behind me as I turned onto the track and noticed Justin a few strides behind me. The way I felt I was sure he would catch me. I had a last surge with 200m to go and held him off for 3rd place in 18:48. My third mile was faster than I thought it would be, 6:13. Neil won and broke 17 minutes (16:53!), Clay ran 22 minutes even and was 5th in his age group! I think the 50-54 age group was one of the most competitive with 5 guys 22min or better, since David, Chuck, Clay and a few others were all there. The 30-34 age group had 4 guys under 20 minutes! Those two age groups had 10 of the top 20 runners above the age of 20!
Everyone seemed to enjoy the "peanut" guys and we took pictures with quite a few people after the race. Thanks to Dale for putting on a great event. The turnout was excellent, the Friday packet pick up was key, and the race went on without a hitch today. Nice work Dale! Can't wait for next year.
I was suprised by my performance today. My training has been sub par lately but today showed I still have some speed. I just need some good long runs before Orange County and I think a BQ should still be realistic.
The USATF 15k championships was today as it was last year, again at the Great River Run in Jacksonville, FL. Sergio was 18th with a time of 44:42. In 2010 he was 19th in 44:54. Justin Patananan was 53rd with a time of 48:35.