[<--- This is Cleveland March racing weather for you... My wife took this picture. She was late so I had to go back and pretend I am finishing. I have a slightly annoyed look (click at picture to enlarge) because it took her several tries to take this simple picture :)]
We (Dan and myself) went first for the 15K. This is a hard course with very few flat sections. It starts with rolling hills, then a downhill, then a bit flat, and, at mile 5, a very steep uphill, followed by more rolling hills but mostly uphill. Combined with the cold weather, winds, etc., this race is not exactly a "walk in the park"!
I was doing great for the first 4 miles: 6:37 6:52 6:48 6:53. And then started the uphill struggle: 8:09 7:30 7:28 7:19 7:12. Dan and company passed me around mile 6 but I kept within eye distance behind. I really gave everything I had in this race, and my final time was 1:07:34, a new PR for this course!!!
2004 - 1:12:56 (7:47 pace), 63/156, 10/16 age
2005 - 1:12:10 (7:42 pace), 69/192, 11/26 age
2006 - 1:11:17 (7:36 pace), 77/233, 13/32 age
2007 - 1:08:16 (7:17 pace), 35/155, 8/25 age
2008 - 1:07:34 (7:13 pace). 29/152, 4/22 age
Mile - 2006 - 2007 - 2008
1 – 6:54 - 6.32 - 6:37
2 – 7:18 - 6:53 - 6:52
3 – 7:19 - 6:46 - 6:48
4 – 7:33 - 7:01 - 6:53
5 – 8:33 - 8:10 - 8:09
6 – 8:04 - 7:42 - 7:30
7 – 7:55 - 7:39 - 7:28
8 – 7:49 - 7:26 - 7:19
9 - ?.?? - 7:28 - 7:12
Comparing 2008 with 2007, it looks like most of the improvement came from miles 6 to 9, i.e. from the harder part of the race. That's interesting...
[<--- Wife Liz receives her 1st place age award! By the time I got my award, they knew how to pronounce our last name!]
[<--- Wife and daughter with their awards]
We stayed around for the awards. First, my daughter got 3rd place in her age group (F, 15-19) and then my wife got first place in her age group (F, 45-49). But don't get too excited... There were only 3 and 2 runners in their perspective groups :). My daughter's 5K time: 34:19 (I had predicted 36 so she did better than expected). My wife's 5K time: 28:01, only 1 minute slower than her Fall 5K, in a harder course, not bad!
I got an award too! (They went 5 deep in the awards for this age group).
My friend Dan finished 2nd in his age group (50-54) with 1:06:35. It is interesting that the 4 in our car got 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place awards! So we all went home happy. My daughter headed back to college and she says she will be running 3 miles a couple of times a week, to get ready for more races.
[<--- The happy running family]
Overall, this day was great fun, except, as Dan noted, for the actual running part :) which was a torture. Anyway, I am pleased that I improved my time in this course. It was unexpected. Looks like our next race is the Spring Classic in Strongsville, 1/2M for me, 5K for wife (and maybe daughter?) I really hope that Spring will come soon because I am getting sick and tired of this weather!!!