Got to the parking area early, picked up my stuff, changed into my running shoes, and then I started out for my warm up. Going up East Blvd, I heard my name being shouted across the road. Chris Lamperski wanted to warm up together so I slowed to wait on him.
We made the loop of the course and before I knew it; it was time to head for the starting line.
Between my CRC and TrySports buddies, we were covering the front of the race. Aaron, Kent, Chris, Thomas, Michelle, Pezz, Billy, Richard, and Chris were spread out along the starting line.
To fill you in on the back story, I was coming off one of the toughest weeks of training in recent memory. I guess this is the reason that I started feeling a little under the weather on Thursday.
Jen gave us the final countdown and I launched myself across the starting line. But I wasn't nearly fast enough. Aaron appeared to be shot out of cannon because he was gone up the road. Billy was in hot pursuit of him. I spent the better part of the first mile just trying to get my breathing under control.
We turned right so we could make the loop around Latta Park. Chris Jones and I were running together. Thomas was just in front of us wearing his orange "Pace Leader" shirt.
Cresting the hill around Latta I got in front of Chris and set my sights on Thomas. We made another left back on to East Blvd. I knew from here that it was downhill or flat the rest of the way.
I was closing on Thomas but it was hurting. I could hear the cheers from friends along the course and this inspired me to push even harder.
Catching Thomas was one thing. Passing Thomas was another. The moment that I came up beside him he instantly matched my pace. I could see two other runners in striking distance. One was Chris Lamperski with his over the calf bright green socks. We hit the flat section beside Harris Teeter and my feet were being picked up and put down as fast as I could make them.
I caught the first guy, but Chris was well ahead of me. One surge and then another surge were being thrown in by me. I was closing but it was too little too late.
The parking lot and the finish loomed just ahead and I was in the highest gear that I had. Suddenly, my ears registered the sound of foot steps behind me. I had nothing left but this didn't stop me from pumping my arms as hard as I could.
I could still hear the footsteps echoing in my ears, but I was not given up. If he wanted, he was going to have to come get me. I was not coming back to him.
The guy was like my shadow. He was right on my heels to the finish.
For me it was a great race. I never set my goals too high during a 5k when I am marathon training. My training just isn't geared to give me that kind of leg turnover. My splits were 5:38, 5:50, and 5:20 with a finish time of 17:14. This made me the first Male Masters Winner.
The race was also good in another respect. While I missed the finish, for most the race I got to see Billy and Aaron battle it out. Billy got the better of him going down East Blvd.
Best of all, I got to see more and more CRC members. I talked Mike Lemons, Larry, Tom, Lana, just to name a few.
Congratulations to all the Cupid's Cup finishers today.
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner