Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bolt to the Q 5K

This 5K race started at the Charger's training facility and ended at the 50 yard line of Qualcomm Stadium. I loved the feeling of the soft grass at the very end of the race. And the projection of the finish line on the Big Screen.

The finish line, complete with cheerleaders!
The rest of the race was not so comfortable . . .

The first mile had a viscous hill. A 152 foot climb over 0.4 of a mile. But what goes up must come down. I gloriously flew downhill in mile two, making up time. Between the long uphill and the fast downhill, I was smoked by the start of mile three. And it was getting hot, sunny, and bright.  My mind started to play tricks.  My brain was really pressing for a slow down.  I started thinking about the last mile as "only 6 more minutes," then "only three more minutes." You can endure any thing for three minutes, right?!

And then--there is the stadium, where the finish line is! Unfortunately, you have to run a lap around the entire parking lot before you get to it! Probably the worst part of the whole race was the short hill just prior to the last 50 yards. I got some real shockers from the race photographers here.

3 mile mark.
Next year, I submit that they not take photos at this point!

1 mile     6:48
2 mile     6:12
3 mile     6:35

Official time 20:36 (6:38 average pace). This was 43 seconds slower than the Philip Rivers 5K in June. I chalk it up to the big hill. Even the first place woman was at 19:00. The first place man ran an inhuman 15:15 (4:55), winning the race for the second year in a row with the exact same time.

The best part about the race was running it with my mom! I planted the running seed earlier this summer when I was visiting Illinois. I talked basically nonstop about running and emailed her the couch to 5K program. Then I sealed the deal by registering us for this 5K, during the week she had planned to visit me in San Diego. She's a runner now.

Results (Kristen)
20:36 (6:38 average pace)
4th place female of 1387
1st of 263 in division F30-34
43 overall of 2594

Results (Jan)
37:21 (12:02 average pace)
730 of 1387 female
19th in division F55-59
1614 overall of 2594

The logistics: Some people complained about the the shuttles. Runners were directed to park at the stadium and then take shuttles to the start. Because I am type-A, we got there early and didn't have to wait at all for the shuttle. Others, apparently, were not so fortunate. The final shuttles were late to the start line. So the race ended up starting about 5 minutes late. Overall, I think the race was very well organized. Plenty of porta-potties, no lines at the bib pickup, and Nike Dri-Fit race t-shirt (another suggestion for next year, since the shirts are so nice I actually want to wear it, so women's cuts please!).


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