Friday, December 6, 2013

Race Report: Bucks County 5 Miler

Thanksgiving in PA turned out to be very cold and very windy.  We arrived at the parking lot of the Summit Square shopping plaza just after 8 am to pick up our bibs and shirts.  It was 27.5 degrees outside according to the thermometer at the Pasternak's house to go along with some sustained winds making the wind chill factor about...freaking cold!  We made our way over to the tables set up by last name where volunteers worked to check people in and distribute shirts.  I really felt for them as they all looked frozen and unable to hide it. 

After getting our gear we headed back to the card where we would sit until the start of the race.  No warm up, no stretching just sitting in car listening to the Jimmy Buffet concert on Radio Margaritaville until 8:55 when I got out and headed to the start line.  Julie stayed in the car deciding to do the 1 mile fun run to limit her exposure to the cold.  As I stood there waiting for the race to start the wind continued to whip through the runners until just after 9 when we were sent on our way.

We headed out of the parking lot and took a right weaving our way through a residential neighborhood for the first mile.  At mile 1 I looked down at my watch and was just under 9 minutes, awesome.  As I looked ahead there on the side of the road was spay painted in the road "ICE".  It had rained the night before and as the temperature dropped the puddles had froze.  Julie and I had discussed this in the car during our hour long wait, so I was glad to see they were proactive in calling out areas of ice.

As I approached mile two I entered Core Creek Park and the first water stop was there.  The water was ice cold but helpful in keeping my pace up and as I past it the first runner was already on his way back.  As I approached mile two my watch was just under 18 minutes.  From here the course heads up and down several hills which is where I got this lovely picture.

That's me on the left
 As I approached mile 3, I hit the largest of the hills and I was right on a 9 minute pace but that hill took it out of me.  From there I hit the second water area (the same one going the other way) and headed back to the start where we started.

From here the pace took a hit as we started back fully into the wind.  At one straight part of the course I ran slower than I could so that I could use the person in front of me as a wind break.  The wind was howling through the fields and battering the runners.  At mile 4 I was almost at 38 minutes after recovering from the hill and the wind.  I was able to push it and make good time the last mile, and as I looked at my watch I was at 45:59 (the official results show 46:15 but I think that's total time not my time so I'm going with my watch), over a minute and a half off my time from 2 years ago!

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