UPDATED July 10, 2008: Davey Tree/United Way race results info is here.
The knee received its biggest test since gimping to the sidelines a few weeks ago. Saturday was the 12th annual Canal Park Home Run Trot 5K and 1 mile run/walk. However, this is the first year I've ever heard of it. I was surprised by the turnout. About 600 racers lined up for the 5K at 10 a.m. -- a start time I appreciated.
Four Booze Hounds participated in the event: three in the 5K and one in the mile. Three were also hungover. Surprisingly, dear readers, I was not one of them. For once, I considered my body, as I figured my knee would appreciate the benefit of my full balance.
When I signed up, I said I'd be happy with a sub-30 effort. So, I'm happy with my 25:37, but ...
Timing Is Everything
For such a small race, I was surprised that it was chip timed. It seems like since the Akron Marathon has been so successful, that races in the area are better organized. However, one problem with this race: there was no starter mat. Just the finish. So really, the chip didn't really change the timing of the race. It just made things easier at the finish without having to hit the chute single file.
I also forgot to start my watch (typical), so I don't have a comparable time to judge what my time might have been if it were a true chip time.
However, for only running 9 miles in the two weeks prior to the race, I'm pretty satisfied. I know I would have PR-ed had my knee been healthy. I had a pretty good strategy: I gunned the first half. If I had stronger base mileage I wouldn't have fallen back as much during the middle mile.
That said, I already shaved about 2:30 from my 5K this year. How do you like them apples, Vanilla? [I assume most of you know about his Shave Your 5K Challenge.]
The race course was a relatively flat jaunt through downtown Akron with a few rolling hils. The final mile had a nice downhill to prepare you for the final kick. Although, as luck would have it, there was a stiff headwind when I hit that hill. Better than running into the wind on an uphill, I guess.
It was truly a perfect day for a race. It was in the low 40s at the start with no clouds in the sky. Halfway through, I regretted my hat, but I wore my vest and was able to stuff it in my pockets.
The swag consisted of a decent long-sleeve red T-shirt with the race logo on the front with a better-than-average looking amalgam of sponsor logos on the back, two tickets to an upcoming Akron Aeros (Class AA minor league baseball) game and a cheapo water bottle.
In Other News
It's Opening Day, fools! I'm taking a half-day to go drink beer and watch Cleveland and Chicago play ball. Enjoy the rest of you miserable Monday.