I had originally planned to do the 10K targetting a PR, but backed off to doing the 5K for fun. For me, this was a good decision. This is a huge event and really not a good one to test yourself at because of the crowd. But I'll get more into that later...
We arrived at 7:45 for our 8:30 start time. We thought that would be early enough, but apparently not. By then it was already difficult to find a place to park. We eventually found a parking space a good mile away. No worries, still plenty of time before the scheduled start.
The temp was 48deg when I left the house so I was wearing shorts, a short sleeve shirt, and a long sleeve shirt over it. Walking in, I realized that it was warming up and I didn't need the long sleeve shirt. The car was too far away to put it back, so I tied it around my waist.
They ask folks to line up by estimated pace. If people would actually do this, I think it would be a more pleasant experience for everyone. Instead, people seem to ignore the pace markers and just try to get in as close to the front as they can. Grrrrr.
No Garmin today, just my sport watch. I hit start when the gun went off, hit the split button when we crossed the start mat, at each mile marker, as I crossed the finish mat, and eventually hit stop when I was off to the side.
It took 40 seconds from gun time to cross the start mat. Even then, the crowd wasn't moving much faster than a slow jog. I spent the entire first mile looking for holes to get through. Generally, I had luck getting through on the inside near the sidewalk, but I still found myself wasting energy darting left and right and trying to get through. Very frustrating.
It was a little better for mile 2. I stayed to the inside and occasionally went up on the sidewalk to get around the crowd. After the 2 mile marker, I found space. By then I think I had worn myself out with all the darting around trying to get through the crowd. When I saw the finish line, I kicked it up a notch and started passing folks. I am pleased with myself for being able to finish strong.
I'm not sure what the official time will be. If it was gun timed, it will be close to 30:45. However, my watch says start line to finish line took 30:06. I would have liked a finish under 30mins, but I'm not too disappointed. I put in good effort, had some fun despite the crowds, and went into it uninjured. That equals success in my book. :-)
[updated - official results are in and they have me at 30:02. I missed my target of sub 30 by just a few seconds. That's closer than I expected, and I'm okay with it!! Additional stats include 387 of 1037 women and 35 of 113 F40-44.]
Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!