2016 started the same way as the past few years, with a 5k race. The last few years, I went to Warsaw, IN (45-60 minute drive from Elkhart) to run in a local 5k race. This year, I decided to change it up a bit and stay a little closer to home and run in the Resolution Run 5k in Middlebury, IN. This was the third annual running of this race, but my first time there. The race benefitted the local food pantry (I can also get behind supporting the local food pantries). This was also the first year that Tina joined me on a New Years Day race.
I can’t think of a better way to start off the new year. I am not one for New Years Resolutions. If it was important enough to make it a resolution, why didn’t you start sooner. For me, a New Years Day race just marks the beginning of another year of running.
This race was also another speedwork session for me, no real expectations on a great time, and no chance at a PR. This was my third speed workout of the week. I was just out there to enjoy the race, knock the rust off, and compete with other local runners. It was great to start off the running year surrounded by many of my local running friends.
Local runner, and college teammate, Brice Faltynski was running this event as well. You might remember Bruce. He won the Santa Stroll a few weeks back, a race I came in second place in. Since that race, Bruce, along with another college teammate of ours, Greg Howard, started a blog called Has Been Runners. I encourage you to check out their blog. Both of them have had a tremendous amount of running success. You can also find them on Twitter (@Has_BeenRunners). As both Bruce and I have the same coach, we spent a few minutes comparing workouts we have been doing over the week. I think it’s safe to say, I had the tougher week (building up my excuses in case Bruce dominated me again). The plan was to stay as close to contact with Bruce as I could and run the third mile as fast as the first.
Bruce introduced me to another competitor, someone who has apparently been talking trash to Bruce, named James Bartlett. James is in the Mishawaka Police Department with Bruce and is training for Half Ironmans and a full Ironman in 2016. Now, not only do I have to race Bruce, I have to chase after a future Ironman.
The countdown was on and at the shout of “Happy New Year,” we were off. The race started in a local church parking lot and made an immediate right hand turn onto the streets. The first turn was the only point in the race that I actually had a lead. It seemed like the first half a mile to 3/4 of a mile was run 1-2 and then turn, but with it not being too large of a race (just over 200 finishers), it wasn’t too bad. Plus factor in that it was not a closed course, as a race you do your best to use roads that are not that busy. The course did go onto one of the busier streets heading out of down town before going into another neighborhood where you made your way to the turn around and returned the way you came from.
The second half of the race provided the greatest challenge, and that was the headwind. After the turn around, I felt that second place was out of reach so I just focused on the workout aspect of the race and tried to pick up the pace to run as close to the time I ran the first mile in for the third. Really, I didn’t came close. My splits were 5:53, 6:08, 6:19. Finishing time was 18:53. A lot faster than I ran at the Santa Hustle a few weeks back. I finished in third, which I was happy with until they announced the winner received a $100 gift certificate to Fleet Feet.
After I finished up, I went out to find Tina on the course and finish with her. Her finishing time was just under 33 minutes. Not a PR for her, but she hasn’t been running as much. But don’t worry, her half marathon training begins this week.
I was pleased by the way this event was run. There were volunteers (anywhere from 2-5) at every turn on the course. They weren’t just standing there, they were actually encouraging to the runners. Also the course was well marked, that is until the snow covered the roads. All the events started on time and there was a nice spread of cookies, donut holes, and fruit at the end.