Coming into the race, I wasn't sure what to expect from myself. My last 5K was back in May when I ran a 16:04 at Redhook. I was confident that I'd be well below that mark, but I didn't have much else to go on. Based on my training, I thought that I'd be happy with 15:30. Competition was also a question. I assumed Derrick Hamel would be there to continue chasing points for the overall race series, but with Jim Johnson out due to injury, I didn't really know who my competition would be for this race. You just never know who is going to show up to these seacoast races. I'm glad I forgot to check last year's results, or I may have psyched myself out when I saw that Nate Jenkins won the race in 2014.
When we got to York High School, I grabbed my bid and did a 2 mile warm up on the course. The course is the same as when I ran here back in 2013, but it felt good to re-familiarize myself. Despite some small rolling hills, the course is actually really fast. The uphills are semi-steep but short while the downhills are very gradual which allows you to take full advantage. After the warm up, I stretched, switched into my racing flats, did a few drills, and headed to the start line. As soon as I got to the start line, I saw Nate Jenkins and immediately thought "looks like I'm racing for second place". The idea of just trying to maintain my lead in the overall seacoast series started to creep into my head, but I tried to push that thought away and focus on running a decent race. I brightened up a bit I reminded myself that the weather was perfect, and I would have someone to chase. Maybe there was a shot at running a good time.
There were a bunch of young kids on the start line, and I had a bit of trouble trying to find a spot. I was able to squeeze in, and after the singing of the national anthem by men's ensemble - The Bow Tie Guys, we were off
100 meters or so after the start
A couple of younger kids jumped out for the early lead
Thanks to Alie and my Mom for all the great pics!
Stride for stride with Nate Jenkins... no big deal
After about 200 meters or so, Nate and I overtook the younger kids who started off with a sprint, and we ran side by side for the first mile. About half a mile into the race, I asked Nate what time he was looking to run today, and he replied with "I'll be as happy as a pig in shit if I run 15:30 today" which gave me a good laugh. 5:01 mile split (according to Garmin) for the first mile which is mostly flat with a bit of up hill in the second half. The biggest "hill" on the course comes about half way through the race. It is only about 100 meters long, but it gains most of the elevation for the course. From the top of the hill on, the course is a nice gradual downhill. I gained a step or two on Nate going up the hill and briefly tested the waters of picking up the pace. I didn't really think I was going to drop him, but I thought it was worth a shot since I was feeling good. He tucked in behind me until the 2 mile mark when he retook the lead. Split for the second mile was 4:54. Just after the 2 mile mark, Nate started picking up the pace. Since age is on my side, I wasn't all that surprised that he would try to drop me with a mile to go. I tucked in behind him and tried to focus on maintaining contact. As we turned onto the road that runs along York Beach, I was struggling to stay with him, and he could tell. He put in a few bursts of speed which gave him a couple yards on me, but I was able to pull it back together. I retook the lead with 500 meters to go and started my kick with 400 meters to go. When I finally chanced a glance back, I realized that I had created a bit of separation, but I kept getting the feeling that he was going to come back on me.
Final stretch. About 50 meters left.
First race in the Greater Boston jersey!
Thanks again to Alie and my mom for all the great pics!
With 5 meters to go, I was still worried that Nate was going to pull up next to me haha.
Finished off in 15:10 for the overall win. Final mile split was 4:46 which meant we negative split each mile. I'm really happy with the time. It was 20 seconds faster than I was expecting and 3 seconds faster than I ran here back in 2013 under similar conditions. Granted, I didn't have Nate Jenkins pushing me that year. It would be a 2 second road PR for me, but I am hesitate to consider it one because the course isn't certified. My watch had the race at just a touch over 3.1, but you never know.
Shout out to Leslie O'Dell for her overall win on the women's side. It seems like she is the female winner in every race that I run : )
Full Results can be found here, and Dan Doyon did a write up for Seacoast Online which can be found here.
Unfortunately, Alie's quest to run the Seacoast Series ended today. She's been in a walking cast for the last few weeks because the swelling in her foot wasn't going down. It's getting better, but it was too soon for her to race. As a result, she was on picture duty today. While she did a great job, I came back to find a bunch of pictures like the below on my phone as well haha. No idea what she was doing while I was running. Apparently, she was a bit bored.