|"Your photos are the best!" says Jim Yi Deng to me before today's MCRRC race. When I ask, he clarifies: it's not the pictures that I take, but the ones that ace club volunteer photographers like Ken Trombatore take of me that Jim admires. I confess to keeping an eye out for cameras and smiling and opening my beady eyes at them when possible. Sometimes I even try to comb my beard with my fingers. Every little bit helps, it seems.|
Barry Smith gives me a ride to today's event in Seneca Creek State Park. Comrades including Ken Swab and Christina Caravoulias greet us as we pick up our 2013 bibs and timing chips. Waiting in line ahead of me at the portajohn, a young man asks "Is Robin here today?" I'm obviously puzzled, so he laughs and identifies himself: it's Keane Kaiser, an Eagle Boy Scout friend of my younger son. I haven't seen Keane for a few years and fail to recognize him in his new beard. His mother Kristin is also running today. We chat, and then I head out for a short warmup trot around the parking area.
|The race begins and I give chase to friendly arch-rival young Tom Young for the first mile, then lose sight of him. The morning is chill, and excuses join me as I progress: perhaps longish runs on Saturday and Sunday are not the best taper for a fast Tuesday race; perhaps a breakfast of coffee, banana, and Snickers candy bar is suboptimal; perhaps a sore right-hip ITB and achy right foot hold me back; perhaps the slightly hilly course adds to the challenge, as do crowds for the first tenth of a mile; perhaps weighing ~145 lbs. is too high for me right now.|
But whatever the reasons, today's 5k at 22:48 is slower than hoped but faster than feared. Rough mile splits of 7:03 and 7:08 are close to target, but then a third mile at ~7:32 drops the baton. The final result: 2nd of 22 in my new 60-64 year male age group, 55th overall of 381, behind 49 of 204 men and 5 of 177 women. Keane comes in more than 2 minutes ahead of me. Booooo!
^z - 2013-01-17