Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Race for Humanity 5k

A small race for a large cause. I wouldn't mess with a race such as this if it weren't for a) that its put on by several USP student organizations and in the month that precedes this race virtually everyone on campus asks if I'm going to run it; and b) the start of the race is a half-mile from my house and the course passes within half a block of it. So its mostly a race for local bragging rights and for fending off the midlife crisis. Two causes that are at least as important as humanity.

If you read yesterday's post you'd have seen a bit of added drama superimposed upon this race in the form of foot pain. If I were conservative (i.e., smart) I would have sat out this race. But I monitored the foot closely yesterday and it gave me no pain even after doing some windsprints to kill time during Tony's baseball practice and then a good bit of salsa dancing last night.

I ran about 4 1/2 miles to warm up, foot still felt fine. I did some pickups just before the race, foot still felt fine. So I was set.

The course is two loops and a little around the neighborhood. Most of it is either up or downhill, and there was a stiff wind in what seemed to be several directions. As I explained to Mary Kate, a USP vice-president, it would be a tactical race. I then had to explain to her what tactics one would use, as she expressed surprise that you just don't go out and run as fast as you can. "Yeah, but it's more complicated than that..."

A lot of the USP cross-country runners were at the start, including Nick Willey, whom I had dueled with at the Adrenaline 5k two weeks ago, and we'd agreed to have it out again this morning. There were other guys who looked imposing, including some guys with LaSalle singlets and a guy with a blond ponytail and tattoos, but it was his racing flats that put me on guard.

Gun goes off and when the chaff clears away racing flats guy pull ahead and me and Nick are trying to hang on to him. He slowly pulls away and Nick and I work together up to mile 1, which passes in 5:33. At this point, after turning from 46th onto Larchwood Ave., Nick surges and blisters the downhill stretch and I can't keep up. I'm sure he doesn't realize how smart his timing is, as I'm now getting beat on the downhill, which I consider my strength. Now I'm thinking of just hanging on.

But it was still early. Mile 2 passes (5:34) during the second time around the loop and I'm still about 20 meters behind Nick. A little past where he made his move on the first lap now I start speeding up and proceed to reel him in just before the steep downhill on the 4300 block of Larchwood. This is my home turf, I know every bump around here. I know from here on out to the finish its downhill with a tailwind, and I let it rip. Nick stays behind me and I cross the finish in 2nd with a 16:56.

The winner (16:20 or so) was racing flats guy, who was named Mike and just moved to South Philly a few months ago. He, Nick and I cool down for about 3 miles. I want to put a plug in for this race, in that it was very well organized, especially for a group of college students putting it on. Especially impressive was how they secured all intersections, and the amount of Phila PD they got to come out and secure this course - leading to a phenomenal cop-to-runner ratio. As I walk to the podium to pick up my award my left instep starts to hurt. I cursed this and then jogged the half mile home for 11 miles on the day.


Blogger Quinto Sol said...

Nice job on the 2nd OA... bummer on the foot... PF??? As always, nice report.

4:34 PM  

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