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What: RaceVermont Cupid 5k
Where/When: Shelburne, VT, February 14, 2015; 10 am
Packet pick-up was available at our local Fleet Feet location. It was very simple; in and out in less than 5 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised that I received a Bondi Band headband with the RaceVermont logo. In my experience, RaceVermont isn’t heavy on the swag, so when they advertised headbands or bandanas, I was picturing something cheap that I’d never use again. The idea for this race is that “attached” runners would wear a red headband, and single runners would wear white, so that singles could maybe make a love connection with someone who shares similar interests. I’m not sure how successful that aspect of the race was, but it didn’t really matter to me anyway.
On race morning, Ben and I got delayed, and we ended up arriving about 10 minutes before the start, which is cutting it a bit fine for me. Thankfully, Ben was able to drive me right up to the Field House, and then go park. He still got a decent parking space, which was nice.
The weather was not at all agreeable–windchill had the temps down to -6F, so it was great that we were able to wait inside the Field House. I wore a fleece-lined hat, my wool Buff scarf to cover my face, three long sleeved shirts with a pink t-shirt over that, and leggings. Thankfully, they didn’t make us wait outside too long before firing the starting gun.
During the Race:
This course is part of the same course that I ran for the RaceVermont Fall Half Marathon, so I was familiar with the route. It’s a simple out and back along Harbor Road, and it’s not terribly scenic. It had been snowing pretty steadily all morning, so the road was a bit slick, and I slipped a few times. I had forgotten my Garmin and my phone was being stupid, so I was running “naked,” and had no idea how fast I was going at any point. I tried to just run by feel and not go too fast at the outset.
The turnaround point is at the top of a small hill, and I was proud that I was able to keep a pretty steady pace up the hill, and then kicked it up a bit on the downhill. At this point, I was steadily gaining on two ladies wearing tutus, and just kept chanting to myself “Don’t lose the tutus, don’t lose the tutus.” Eventually, I passed one of the tutu ladies, but during the last tenth of a mile, the other tutu lady took off like a bat out of hell and finished way before me.
Coming into the finish, I still had gas in the tank and could have finished faster, but the chute was kind of narrow, and I didn’t want to be a jerk and push my way past the lady in front of me, so I just stayed right behind her. I was so focused on getting inside and warming up that I didn’t even notice the clock when I finished, and so I didn’t know my official time until about an hour later when results were posted online.
Once again, a big kudos to RaceVermont for knowing that when I finish a race, I want a great big bottle of water. There were two volunteers right inside the Field House doors handing out full-sized bottles of water to finishers. I went up to the mezzanine and grabbed a hot chocolate, entered the Fleet Feet raffle for a race vest, and we skedaddled. I didn’t feel like waiting for everyone to finish to take part in the RaceVermont raffle and awards ceremony, but they had some really nice prizes–Vermont Teddy Bears, bottles of wine, and lots of gear from Fleet Feet.
When I checked the results later, I was shocked to find this:
Chip time: 29:54; 3rd in age group(!!!); 40th overall out of 82 runners.
I’m gonna go ahead and attribute that age group placement to the minimal turnout because of the weather. Even so, it was pretty cool. And I was pleasantly surprised to break 30 minutes without any kind of pace tracking. I think that all of the cross-training/strength training I’ve been doing lately is making me stronger, which is so awesome.
P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures. Ben took some on his phone, but hasn’t sent them to me yet 😦
Have you ever run a race “naked”?
When was the last time you totally surprised yourself with your performance during a race?