The GRVL Runners had a good turnout for the race, with about 10 of us running. We met up at 7 am in front of the Civic Center for a photo prior to parting ways to head to the start.
I went up to the front of the line, but there were a lot of elite runners there. As soon as the gun went off, I booked it. For about the first 3 minutes, it was just me and the boys. And then it wasn't - four or five other girls quickly came up on me in the first quarter mile. I wasn't sad about it though. I still felt like my pace was pretty strong, even though my legs felt weak.
The course is a loop for the 5k and the 10k runs it twice. This presents some issues the second time around when there are quite a few walkers taking up the street. At certain points of congestion, the runners were forced on the other side of the road into traffic despite the race organizers' effort to keep the walker's to the right.
From mile 2 to 3 and 5 to the finish, we were running right into the sun which was brutal. At mile 2.5 all I could think about was having to run into that sun again to get to the finish. It was a very warm day too, which didn't help and only made me more tired. You couldn't see the finish line because the sun was so bright. When we finally came into the finish line shoot, I found some serious speed and sprinted to the finish.
I was hoping to come in under 43 minutes, but my final time was 43:27. My Garmin said that the course was long at 6.32 miles with my pace at 6:52. My race recorded pace was 6:59 though. Either way, my time was still good enough for first in my age group and 10th female overall, which made me very happy. Most of the GRVL Runners waited around for them to announce me (which took forever!!!), so that was pretty awesome.
I'm excited to be back and am ready to buckle down on training for Portland - only 9 short weeks until my next marathon!