Sharin O The Green 5K, the annual St Patty's Day 5K in Fort Collins. Weather was really good, mid-40s and no wind. The semi-loop course was flat and fast, just some long inclines and declines, but no real hills.
Got up at 6AM, and warmed up 4 miles from my house while coffee brewed. Then drove over to the course at 7:30, and warmed up another 4 miles by running the entire course, and then some extra, strides, etc. Did about a half mile of MP tempo during the warmup.
Saw Hunter Paris at the start. I beat him at the Horsetooth Half last April, and he beat me at the Equinox Half in September. I had never raced him in a 5K, but figured we may be evenly matched.
Three of us took off at the start, but one guy dropped back after about a half mile, so then it was just Hunter and I, running side-by-side. Right before the mile marker, though, a runner in a Boulder Running Center singlet came up behind us, and then just glided by with minimal effort. He had one of "those" strides that I could tell from there that both Hunter and I were hosed. Hunter and I both went with him, and we had a pack of three for a while. Went through the first mile in 4:52, which was about what I wanted.
During the second mile, the course looped around several blocks. The first mile was just a straight-shot down Peterson Ave., so the turns were a welcome change. I struggled to keep up with the BRC guy, and Hunter started dropping back a little bit. I felt strong, but not terribly fast. Which is how most 5K's feel for me these days. Second mile was 5:03, and the BRC guy had opened up a decent-sized gap on me.
I tried to reel in the BRC guy during the last mile, but he held ground, and probably pulled away a little bit more. I couldn't hear Hunter, but knew he wasn't too far back, based on people cheering. For Mile 3, the course returned the way it came, just a mile straight-shot on Peterson. But the back end of the race was going the other way, so there were lots of people cheering, which made the long stretch a little easier to handle.
The last half mile I started feeling a little sick in the stomach, something that I usually don't get, and I think I pulled back a little bit because of that, maybe cost couple seconds for not kicking hard. Didn't want to chuck. Mile 3 ended up being 4:58-4:59, and I was happy to split a faster last mile at least. Final time was 15:26. BRC guy (who turned out to be Michael Chavez, 2:16 marathoner and 1:04-flat half marathoner) was 15:12. Hunter Paris was third with 15:34.
Cooled down on the course with Michael; hopefully we will be able to get together occasionally to train, as he just lives across town. Collected a $100 Visa gift card for 2nd place, and then went to watch the St Patty's Day parade with the family. Enjoyed burritos and beer at Matador as a triumphant conclusion to the morning.