This was the second road race that I competed in as I lead into the long triathlon season that is quickly approaching. The Race for the Place 5k is a local race put on by The Lawrence Place which provides support services, life skills, and transition housing for families with children experiencing homelessness in Columbia. It just so happens that the course is almost identical to the course for the Run with the Saints 5k that I competed in 2 weeks ago, only in reverse. While this could potentially have been a good race to refine pacing and hope to see improvements, I had different goals for this race than to chase PR’s. With the Powerman Arizona Duathlon looming next weekend and an ever growing Elite field for that race, my coach and I decided to use this race as preparation. Not to say that preparation is easy though!
The morning started out with an early ride at the house to get the legs warmed up with some “sweet spot” work. With 45 minutes of work in the legs I wasn’t quite as fresh as a couple weeks ago heading to the race, but I was eager to see how they would react! Just as the previous race, I parked at my friend Brian Mallon’s house just next to the start and began getting ready for the effort to come. It was very humid out and everything was wet from the recent rain, but at least it had still managed to stay cool. Rebekah had once again came to spectate as well as show off her new unique support shirt sporting my initials and her current state of pregnancy. As the race start drew near I went to the starting line and got to socialize with some of the regulars of the Columbia running scene. Soon enough we were all lined up and the race began!
I knew this race would begin a little quicker than the last as one of the racers was Alan Deogracias. Alan is a speedy high school runner who I know has been dying to have a shot at racing me for quite a while now. Luckily for him, I wasn’t exactly the freshest I’ve ever been for a 5k. Unluckily for him, he had apparently come down with a cold during the week prior. As we headed out, I focused on staying to the side and out of his “cough zone”. Our pace was pretty hot, but the little amount of downhill on this course was mostly in the first half. We came through the first mile in 4:59 according to my watch and I could tell Alan was starting to struggle. As he dropped behind, I was able to breathe a little easier and just held a decent pace without turning myself inside out. My legs could feel the earlier morning ride as well as the fast start, but they weren’t too bad off considering. I started getting more encouragement from the volunteers as I got closer to the end and had a fun finish crossing the line in 16:25 and 1st place!
I was pretty content with how the race panned out and am really looking forward to my flight out to Arizona later this week! Congrats to everyone that raced today in any of the 3 Columbia races, and especially to those that did the triple dip (looking at you Alex McDonald and Ryan Plexico)! Thanks to Alan for the push today and good racing by Mike Schrum who paced well enough to take 2nd place. Tonight for me includes some early fun Valentine’s Day activities with the Wife Rebekah Feigh! Thanks for reading!