The CPCC Skyline 5k was the 2nd race in the Run For Your Life Grand Prix series and first for me since I was skiing in Utah for the Shamrock 4-miler.
I communicated with Billy Shue via e-mail (God forbid someone uses the tele!) the day before and we decided to meet up for a nice warmup. Since my daughter had a soccer game at 9:15am and the race started at 8am, I had to position my car so that as soon as I finished the race and removed my chip, I could make my getaway! I ran the mile to registration to get my bib #4 (only because I finished 4th last year in the Grand Prix Series) and chip and met up with Billy.
As soon as we started our warm up (we ended up running the course before the race), we saw a pack of runners coming towards us and we decided to keep doing our thing. Speaking of the pack, there was a buzz brewing about who was going to show up and the field did not disappoint! The course was up hill gradually the first mile, slightly rolling/flat the second mile, and then downhill the third mile. At least that is my interpretation.
Since I have been involved with the Charlotte Running Club, I am recognizing more and more faces (still a bunch I don't know yet). About 5 minutes before the race starts, Caitlin Chrisman came up to me and asked me what I was planning on running. Not to be sarcastic or flippant, I told her that I would let her know my time as soon as I crossed the finish line. I do this simply because you never really know how you are going to feel on any given day (I was going to feel good on this morning...more later).
So we get to the starting line and all the studs/studetts are out, and the baby joggers are going off 2 minutes before us. I point out Amy Kattwinkle who was the Megan Hovis/Caitlin Chrisman of 10-15 years ago (2 or 3 Olympic Marathon Trials). Right before the gun goes off I take a deep breath, bless myself (I think I got that from Dave Conception who was the SS for the big red machine back in the '70's) and accept the fact that I am going to be experiencing a high level of discomfort for the next X amount of minutes.
The gun goes off and I get out well with good turnover and I'm running very relaxed. As I said earlier the first mile is a gradual incline and I'm working hard and yet I know that when it levels off, I'm still going to have good turnover (you know the feeling?). I actually high-fived 2 people on the side of the road (a technique I use to stay relaxed) and I came up on Amy K. and patted her on the back and we had a few words. Hit the mile in 5:40...
Now we've leveled off and I can see Billy and Brian up ahead (why can't I run with them, so what if they're 20 years younger). It took me to the 2 mile marker to catch them. I made sure that I passed them with authority. I hit the 2 mile in 11:10 (5:30 for the second mile). I'm still racing at this point...
The first quarter mile of the 3rd mile was level before we ran down Elizabeth and close to the finish I see Megan who tells me to get on it! Which I did. I hit the 3rd mile and the clock shows 16:30 (so my 3rd mile was 5:20) and I don't think I can run a 29 second point 1 (more like 36) and I hit the finish at 17:06 good for 9th place...
My splits: 5:40, 5:30, 5:20, :36= 17:06
I have to give a big thank you to the following: Tim Rhodes and his crew for an awesome race, Paul Mainwaring for the Tuesday workout, Billy Shue for the warm up and race, the spectators on the course including Megs and Co, Mark Hadley from MPR for getting me to do my last hard workout on Tuesday and 3 days to recover (Hey Mark, I use to do Mon. and Wed. hard)...
Got to my car and made it home with time to spare...thanks for reading!
Results (Men): 1-Kinley, 2-Matena, 3-Compton, 4-Hovis, 5-Mainwaring, 6-Beigay, 7-Issacs, 8-Harris, 9-Spada, 10-McMahon.
Results (Women): 1-Chrisman, 2-Rogers, 3-Walther, 4-Matena, 5-John, 6-Bakaltcheva.
Question: For those of you that ran, how did you enjoy the race?