This morning I continued my trend of racing places that I hadn't raced recently. My decision turned out to be a good one as Diane, Steve, Bill W, Clayton, and Richard also decided to run the Mt. Holly 5k. I always like catching up with them. Also I got to see many of runners from the Gaston Running Club.
Looking around at the start, there was some fit looking young guys so I figured that I would settle in and just try to run my own race.
During my warm up, I had prerun the course. The prerun turned out to be a good thing for me. The course was tough. Whoever laid out the course went for maximum elevation change within a 5k. We started near the highest point in Mt. Holly and within a mile descended to the lowest point. From there we would climb back to the highest point before making one last hair raising descent about half way down. Then, we made the final climb back up. The middle mile and half were absolutely brutal. We crossed Main St. and would climb to Crest St. it was pretty much putting one foot in front of the other. Several people told me that they had to walk it. I was close. It was "Bear" kind of steep.
Back to the race, with the downhill start the young guys took it out. I was probably a good 20 to 25 yards behind them within a quarter mile. By three-quarters of a mile, I started to close the distance. Just before the mile, I pulled even with them. At this point, knowing what lied ahead; I had thoughts of not pushing the pace any more. But being a good racer, I listened closely to their breathing and decided that the pace really did need some more pushing. The Mt. Holly police did an excellent job with the traffic. We had free run of the road. I climbed up to Main St. and then, I took a deep breath. I went right into the climb up to Crest St.
When I made the left, a quick peek told me that at least one of the guys was still close. I made a point to lean into the downhill. When I made the next right, I could tell that the gap between us had grown.
I felt if I could hold him off until we got to the top, I might be good. With no choice, I dug in and climbed the hill. "Boy", did it feel good when I hit the top.
Compared to the rest of the course, the last half mile was virtually flat. Coming to the school and the finish line; I took one last peek over my shoulder to gauge the distance. Today, he wouldn't be running me down.
I crossed the finish line in 17:31 to win the race. Then, just like last week, I waited as the others finished and congratulated them on their efforts.
Clayton and I then went for a cool down over the last half of the course. Catching up with Clayton was good. Too much time had passed since we last did a run.
For me, this was a decent race and another good day to hang out with friends. I always enjoy hanging out with friends.
Sharing one thought at a time,
The Cool Down Runner