The Chamber Challenge 5K
Candis and I stood poised at the start. There were maybe 200 entrants and we were somewhere around the middle of the pack. I'm disappointed to discover that the guy dressed as the Chik-Fil-A cow is not running, and he appears to be the only person in a costume. Well him and some other guy who's dressed in drag... no... wait... that's really a woman. Eeesh! An official looking man is talking over the loud speaker but we can't hear him through the wind and excited chatter of the crowd. Searching for a mantra to use, the first thing that comes to mind is "Speed. I am speed. Faster than fast. Quicker than quick. Float like a Cadillac, sting like a Beemer." That's from the movie Cars for those of you that don't have kids, and yes, my boys have been watching it a lot lately.
Hey, where's everyone going? The front group of runners is already leaving and I didn't even hear a starter's pistol. I give Candis a quick kiss for luck (aww, that's so sweet!) and we head out. I had debated running with her and pacing her, but she told me I didn't have to, and since I am worthless at picking up on non-verbal hints I leave at my own pace.
I finish the first mile in 8:40. The McMillan Running Calculator had predicted an 8:41 pace for me, it's annoyingly accurate. If I can just plug numbers into a website and find out how fast I am what's the point in actually running? Why not forget about running the Denver Half Marathon and just let McMillan give me my PR for that distance too?
Somewhere around mile 2 a couple of ladies pass me, one of them is wearing a running skirt that looks a lot like mine, and the other one has an abnormally large caboose for a woman of her stature. Seriously, baby got back! I determine that I'm going to keep up with them and pass them before the finish, but I'm starting to feel a little out of breath and I let 'Skirt' and 'Caboose' get too far ahead of me.
We enter the final stretch of the race and move from a concrete golf-cart path onto grass as we circumnavigate the driving range. Judging by the clumps of fresh clippings it has recently been mowed, but it is still very thick and spongy. It's like running on a bouncy castle and even though I try to ignore the small piles of grass mulch, I still find myself bobbing and weaving like they were the gates of a slalom course. What's wrong with you? This is going to slow you down! I can't seem to stop myself though.
I finally force myself to look ahead, ignoring the grass I see 'Caboose' right in front of me, her pace has slowed considerably. The finish is close and it's time for me to turn it up a notch. I pass her and scarcely manage to keep myself from taunting her with "unhitch the trailer," but I can't conceal a smile. 'Skirt' is not too far ahead and as she turns a corner she motions for 'Caboose' to hurry up and come join her. Oh, hell no! I'm not about to get 'chicked' this close to the finish. I push the pace even harder, and not only does 'Caboose' not catch me, but I even outkick 'Skirt' to the finish in what felt like a full out sprint. The Eat Mor Chikin cow is trying to high five everyone as they finish and in my head I'm thinking how funny it would be to tackle him at full speed. I decide against it because I'm pretty sure that assaulting the mascot results in immediate forfeiture of your post race meal, and if I can't have the food then what's the point in even running a race in the first place?
Official results have not been posted yet but according to my watch I finished in 27:03 which is a PR by default (first official 5K race) and equates to an average pace of 8:43 per mile. Ha! Take that McMillan Running Calculator, you were off by 2 seconds per mile. I'll post the official time and some race pictures when they become available, and I'm still hopeful that Candis will write her own race report which I'll post here.