On Saturday I headed up to Plymouth NH for the Pemi Youth 5km. I decided not to run Wachusett mountain when I saw the new course (which doesn't go to the summit and has some technical trail = bad for ankles). There were a lot of different races to choose from but I decided on the Pemi race because it was an early start (9:00am) and it was a certified course. I had also run it last September and felt I could really improve on my time from then (17:40).
Only 75 showed up for this race that had cash for the top 3 and plent of food and drink after the race. Maybe it is the location or the timing? Who can say. Anyway, I got there and hit the course for a warm-up. The first mile is basically flat and then there are a couple of rolling hills to about 1.5. At that point you hit the rail trail (dirt) for .75 then the last part of the race retraces your steps. A nice fair loop. I changed into racing flats and headed out for another mile with some strides. My Achilles has been bothering me since Northfield but it felt decent on the warm-up and doing strides.
I headed for the line and after some race instructions (does anyone actually comprehend any course description while standing on the line trying to keep the demons at bay?). We took off and 100m into the race I was in fourth place and alone as the top three flew and I established my position as the first person who wouldn't win any cash :-)
I hit the mile right where I'd hoped to be (5:21) and was already more than 30 seconds out of the lead. I tried to keep the tempo up on the rollers and on the dirt and was happy to see a 10:48 at 2 miles (5:27). I kept working as hard as I could but slowed a bit...hitting 3 miles in 16:20 (5:32). I pushed the last part which was a bit downhill and hit the line in 16:52.7 (32.7). I headed out for onto the course to offer encouragement and get in another 4+ miles to close out the day.
I'm pretty happy with the race. I would have liked to run in the 16:40's but with the higher mileage (I went 17 the day before the race) I probably am not as rested as I need to be. My focus has been to prepare for Mt Washington and Cranmore and with 3 weeks to go I think I'm just about ready. Next week I'll drop down and hopefully run a season best for 5k at Rhody.
Here are my 5km times this year (all on certified courses):
04-02 SEA 16:55
04-16 Girl's inc 16:44
04-23 Tuft's invite 16:47
05-28 Pemi youth 16:53
1 1/4 M2024 15:09 4:53 David Chorney 23 M 64 Bristol NH
2 2/4 M2024 15:25 4:58 Joshua Kearns 23 M 54 Ridgefield CT
3 3/4 M2024 16:23 5:17 Andrew Chalmers 21 M 46 Ashland NH
4 1/6 M4549 16:53 5:26 Dave Dunham 47 M 60 Bradford MA
5 1/4 M5559 18:03 5:49 Charlie Gunn 56 M 69 Henniker NH
6 1/2 M4044 18:11 5:52 Jim Boule' 44 M 18 Campton NH
7 1/6 F2529 18:13 5:52 Liz Hankinson 25 F 43 Boston MA
8 1/1 M1519 19:27 6:16 Ryan Pinch 15 M 30 Wakefield RI
9 1/1 M3539 20:16 6:32 Matt Story 37 M 21 Westford MA
10 1/5 F3539 20:41 6:40 Kristen Allen 37 F 22 Brighton MA