Today I ran the 5K at the Jay Dix Challenge to Cure. This is one of my favorite 5Ks and it benefits cancer research. This year there were a record number of participants and looked to be well-organized. There is a 5K, 10K, and 5K walk that all start at the same time. The race is chip timed as well. I lined up behind Tony R. with Brad E. Katie and Dan were nearby. I was thinking Katie might be good for to pace since she was running the 10K and is faster than me for 5Ks.
I was not sure how fast to start or if I was going out too fast. I didn't have any reason to expect that I was any faster than last year so was hoping to run around 19 min. I decided to try to stay with Katie as long as I could. We passed a few runners along the way and this course seemed to go by quickly. The race is a loop plus part is an out and back. At the turn around, I ran ahead and again was not sure how hard I should push. I felt really good but if I pushed to soon, I wondered if I would lose steam at the end. At this point, I was in 4th place with two 10Kers and one 5K runner ahead of me. I was able to see everyone on the way back which was a nice boost.
I felt strong on the few hills in the last mile and still was under 6 min pace. My overall time was 17:47. I finished 2nd of 291 runners and 1st in age group 40 - 45 out of 12. Hugh placed 2nd in age group and 31 overall. Dan placed 1st in age group and 8th overall. Brad E. was 3rd overall and Katie was first female in 10K and 4th overall. As last year, the course was just a bit (0.07 mi) short. I counted my time last year as a 5K PR so if I count this is a PR and a course PR by 35 seconds. I think if the course had been correct, time would been more like 18:15 which is still faster than any PR not on this course. I am really surprised and don't know where this came from. I have been tapering for my 50 mi so maybe that helped. I felt strong at the end and was sprinting up the last hill and then going strong into the finish.