We had over 50 Brown Running Club members signed up for the CVS Downtown 5k, and the morning of the race about a dozen of us met at the Science Library and ran downtown to the race start. We had picked up our race packets the previous day, and I was a little sad that the adults' race bags had sort of boring stuff -- over-the-counter medicines, chapstick. Last year I got the kids' race bag and it was full of candy and office supplies, fun stuff!
We took a team photo and then Erin and I warmed up. She recognized the Oregon Track Club warming up on the other side of the road, runners who are about as close to famous as you can get in distance running. On the starting line, I stood with running club boys near the front of the pack (some people took up to 7 minutes just to get to the starting line after the gun went off!) and introduced them to each other so they might find someone to run with. I also ran into Neal and Dan on the starting line. My goal was 19 minutes, and I thought some of these guys (Nick, Will, Anthony) might be around my speed.
At the gun, I tried to run conservatively but yet 6-minute pace. I ran in a river of men around the turns and curbs, and was successful in hitting just under 6 minutes for the first mile. I kept an even effort and was shocked to see the two-mile sign earlier than I expected -- but I went past this sign in just 10:40, and after the race everyone agreed that it was placed at about 1.8 miles. So I didn't know how fast I was running.
At this point I passed Will, and noticed Jamie running alongside the course (not in the race). I could see Evan up ahead of me, about 50 feet ahead but with the gap staying constant. Shortly after I passed Will, I caught up to Nick, and we traded places several times -- me following him, then I put in a surge and he was behind me, then he passed me again. During this time, Evan stopped by the side of the course and stood by the canal. I called out to him, but he could not run again; he ended up finishing the race but plagued by a stomach cramp. Nick and I traded back and forth a few more times, but then I passed him convincingly. We made the final turn up the hill towards the finish line and he came swooping past me out of nowhere, so we raced up the hill. I passed the 3 mile sign in about 18:25, so I knew I would be close to my goal. I kicked up the hill and just barely missed seeing 19:00 on the clock before I crossed the line.
In the end, I ran 19:02 gun time and 18:58 chip time. Though Nick beat me, he started ahead of me, so my time was faster. We actually had a lot of running club people right around 19:00, but only Nick and I actually ran together. I was the running club's eighth finisher and first female, and I was 50th American female overall.
Individual results, team results.
After the race, Will, Erin and I waited around for the awards ceremony to accept our wonderful trophy. We chatted with Matt Tegenkamp and had our picture taken with him and Amy Yoder-Begley, who won the individual titles. I also chatted with Neal, whose team had won money in the USATF team (rather than college team) division. It was a pretty good day.
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