May 2, 2014

Manassas Runway 5K Recap

After running several longer distance runs, the time for some of my shorter races has arrived. I have several 5Ks lined up over the next 2 months, the first of which was the Manassas Runway 5K. When looking at races, one I originally planned to run was the Rockstar 8K, which was my first race ever and conveniently located right outside my house. However, this year, I noticed a change. The 8K was only a 5K, which I found perplexing. Then, I noticed it was in Fairfax, not Burke. Sad panda. This however opened the door to run with some friends at a race out in Manassas. Enter the Manassas Runway 5K (and 10K).

The Morning Of

Hiding under a blanket
As you can see, Sam
appreciated the early
wake up call.
One thing different about this race then the rest of my recent ones was company. Thanks to location, time and the aforementioned friends, my wife and daughter were all coming along. This meant an early morning wake up call for all. I laid out all my stuff the night before as I always do to make my morning go quicker. The race was about a half hour drive away and I needed to do packet pick up before the race as well. Packet pickup was in the "terminal". It had a pretty good size line. They were running efficiently though. One person would get your name and give your number to a second person. They would get your bib and hand it to a third. The third person would find your shirt then hand it to you, a red tech shirt with the race logo on it. They had 3 sets of people operating in this manner, so getting your stuff took no time at all. The temp was pretty chilly, hanging out around 50 with a light breeze, so we hung out inside and met up with Stephanie, John and their son Jacob pre-race. The 10K would start at 7:30 followed by the 5K 15 minutes later, so we had the advantage of not needing to be first outside. While the sun was shining it wasn't quite taking all the chill out of that pesky wind.

Racing the Runway

The Pooles:
Jacob (Mr. #49 overall)
John and Stephanie
The course was a simple out and back loop on the runway, with a shared start / finish line. We all were running the 5K and lined up about 2/3 of the way back the pack. With a quick countdown we were off, starting among various biplanes, which was a nice touch. Jake took off, being the fast 20 year old he is. I stayed with Stephanie and John for a while until I took my first walk break and then was in "run my race" mode. One thing I wish I had done leading into the race was worked on longer run intervals. Knowing I only need to go 3.1 miles, opposed to say 10 miles, I know I should be able to handle a higher run to walk ratio. Unfortunately, not having practiced this I didn't want to mess up a pace I know I could do smoothly. The course was as expected, flat, smooth and wide open. I took pride in sticking to my intervals and slowly working past some others. I feel like the tortoise eventually passing the hare, and it feels good. At about the 1.5 mile mark we reached the end of the runway and the sole water stop on the 5K. After hooking a U-turn over to the next runway, we found the worst part of the course. While a nice headwind can be good for the whole science of liftoff and an airplane, it's not so nice for a run. And it was a constant wind the entire way back down the runway. Less than ideal, but at least it was flat, right? After fight through it was just a turn back towards the finish and a short sprint home. There were a good number of people lined up at the end, including my Stephanie with Sam as well as John and Jake who had already finished. After crossing the finish and getting some water I turned around to see Stephanie cross and gave her a high five before finding out families.

Official time: 38:52.93
Unofficial Tracking: Nike+

The Times that Almost Weren't

Sam and bling.
Post-race "Yay Daddy!"
After finishing, we went to retrieve our medals and some food. The medals were quite nice. There was one shared medal for both the 10K and 5K, featuring a lineup of figures running with a plane in the sky on a red background. This is the same logo on the shirts we received. There's just something about it I really like. We were waiting around for the awards, because they were having some trouble getting the times synched between the finish line and the awards area. After about a half hour post awards time, they announced they could not get the times right now, but to rest assured they were recorded and they would send them out as soon as they could. This was unfortunate as Jake was the only one who hadn't tracked with any device, so he had no guess as to his time.

Now, what would running a race with friends be without celebrating post race with them? Not much of a race with friends, I'd say. That is why we arranged to have breakfast after the race. We dined at Eggspectation. They're menu had a LOT of choices that looked good to me. In the end, I followed Jakes recommendation of the High-Rise Pancakes (formally Construction pancakes). This featured pancakes, bacon, sausage and potatoes, all layered with each other. He substitutes chocolate chip pancakes and ham for his sausage. I felt a little too guilty to get chocolate chip pancakes in mine, as I knew I didn't run enough to even work off close to the base mean. If you're interested, it was 30 WW points with 5 points earned for my running. I also didn't eat again until dinner. Man, I'm getting old.

Race Review

Race Map
I have to say, my overall opinion with this 5K was really good. The fee was on par with other 5Ks in this area. The return on the fee was great. Normally, with a 5K, usually at most you get a screen printed cotton t-shirt. For this race, we got a printed, nice quality tech shirt. If that's not enough, the race also included some bling: a nice, colored metal medal. Even a Disney 5K only lands you a cotton shirt and rubber medal. The course was fast and flat (as a runway would be), though with a head wind in one direction. Packet pickup was incredibly fast and efficient. The only hiccup in the race was the problem with the results. As a programmer, I understand you can't always control that fact, and then did their best to try and get them out, but in the end we waited a while for nothing which was a bit of a downer.

Race grade: A-


Bib and Bling
Bib and bling.


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