2007-06-08 - Gaithersburg XC 5k

~3.1 miles @ ~10:30 min/mi)

Just like last year (cf. SpongeBath, 29 Jun 2006), shortly before today's race a set of torrential thunderstorms move across the region, yielding a brief rainbow and a persistent high humidity. On the way from parking to registration Caren and Walter Jew's daughter Jenna greets me. She carries a lavender butterfly-motif umbrella that features protruding wings that look a bit like cat-ears. Ultrarunner comrade Ruth Martin is in country and still glows from her sub-five-hour London Marathon in April. Christina Caravoulias, home sick yesterday, arrived early to help set up and is eager to run. Moments after the start Ken Swab and Wayne Carson zip out of sight, Chris begins to melt in the heat, and Caren trots along with me. Ruth takes an early lead that I chip away at and manage to close after a mile. We do the rest of the race together, chatting and commiserating about the weather and trying to identify poison ivy in the brush. A cute little rabbit crosses our path. I begin with splits of 10:18 + 10:32 and achieve an official time of 32:38 — which Christina points out is precisely 1 second slower than my 2006 result. All my friends get points for finishing in the top ten of their age/sex group. I'm 12th of 12 in mine.