Saturday, December 7, 2013

Race report: 2013 Seaford Hot Chocolate 5K

Post-race with SIOR
Today's run (Seaford Hot Chocolate 5K): 3.1 miles (8:54 pace)

Today's Seaford Hot Chocolate 5K was my last race of the year and I wanted to make it count. After some disappointing racing experiences throughout 2013, I was happy to cap off the year with some decent results.

I had never run the Hot Chocolate race before, but I heard it was big. With over 900 participants, numerous volunteers and a large group of Seaford HS band members playing in the main hallway, it felt like an event. I ran into a few people I know along the way and found my buddy SIOR at the registration area that was set up in the main auditorium.

The plan was for the "Three Musketeers" to run this race together, but unfortunately the Petite Pacer was dealing with both a bad cold and an overheated car. We were disappointed that she couldn't make it today, but after running four races in the last month, resting was a smart move.

SIOR and I got to the starting line and before we knew it, it was 9:00 AM. I was so caught up in our conversation that I didn't experience my usual starting line race jitters. Soon enough, the start was called and we were on our way. I tried to match SIOR's cadence for the first minute, until she disappeared into the distance like a royal blue apparition.

I felt good at the start and hoped that I would be able to maintain a decent pace throughout the run. The Hot Chocolate course is a big rectangle and the first mile comes up near the corner of Mill Rd and Washington Ave. I was a little surprised to see the first mile clock showing 10+ minutes when I passed it. For a moment, I questioned my ability to judge my own performance. A look at my Garmin showed I'd covered the mile in 8:33. Apparently that clock time reflected the earlier start of the physically challenged participants.

Washington Ave seemed to have a slight slope and I tried to take advantage, but lost about 20 seconds on mile two. I was surprised to see us passing the rear of the high school so soon, until I remembered that this was a 5K. After two recent 10K's, it was nice to know that I'd be getting through this course a lot quicker.

I did something today that I've rarely done this year - pass a lot of people. I was able to maintain my speed fairly well and, before I knew it, I came to the turn onto Seamans Neck Rd. At that point I said to myself that SIOR had probably just crossed the line. Still, it was the last, straight shot to the finish line and I worked hard to stay on pace.

I thought I was tracking toward a 27 minute finish when I saw the chute far off in the distance. I stepped up my effort and even passed a few people as I drew closer to the line. Once I could see the clock, it was already reading 27:xx. I thought I had a chance of keeping it under my targeted 27:50. I was pleased when I crossed the line and saw that the timer read 27:37.

Post finish "action" shot
Photo courtesy of She Is Out Running
SIOR greeted me after I'd crossed the line. She finished four minutes earlier than me and picked up yet another age division podium spot. We looked at the readouts posted on the timing truck and then headed into the high school to get some hot chocolate, the real purpose for running this race. We were hoping that the award ceremony would begin soon after so she could collect her medal while I cheered. Unfortunately, we both had family obligations that required us to leave before the ceremony started.

Nice race shirt
I had a really nice time this morning and was happy with my performance today. It was great to hang out with SIOR and to experience a new race under good weather conditions (I'm still slightly traumatized by the Long Beach Turkey Trot experience). My next event will be the LIRRC Hangover Run that takes place in Eisenhower Park on New Years Day morning, followed by the Long Beach Snowflake run in February.

4 comments:

  1. Great race all around! A nice shirt to boot! Look forward to our next training run. We should wear our gis. I no longer have my blue belt, but I have a black leather one... Is that misrepresenting?

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    1. Running in a gi would be an interesting experience. I remember how soaking wet mine would get after a workout. 100% cotton. What were we thinking? I'd leave the black leather belt home unless it's some type of upscale SPIbelt.

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  2. congrats to you both! I SO wish I could have run with you..I'm sorry I missed it. I was able to get a slow 2 mile run in to pick up my car from the service station this afternoon, so not all was lost. Except $700 from my wallet.

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    Replies
    1. Gulp! Sorry about the car, but I'm glad you didn't push it yesterday with that cough/cold. 2 miles easy was the right workout. Think about next weekend for a club run.

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