Sunday, January 6, 2013

The 2013 Resolution Run 5K


We do it every year. We resolve to make our lives a little better, a little happier, a little healthier. How fitting is it that the South County Family YMCA decided to name a race after such a transformative intention. Starting off the New Year with a 5K run is a declaration of all three desires and yet it is also so much more.



The sun was nowhere to be seen on the morning of January 5th as riders gathered under the pavilion shuffling to stay warm. It was only 55 degrees but the ocean breeze was edging 15mph. The runners engaged in small talk, did dynamic stretching and took laps around the pond at Maxine Barrett Park until the watch struck 7:15am. That's when the gathering began.


Two hundred and forty athletes both recreational and serious filled the street as the police desperately tried to redirect traffic. The start line was marked by a wildly waving sign from a sponsor Real Bikes of Venice. The wind spitefully picked up a little as someone in the crowd playfully instigated false starts that no one fell for. A few minutes past 7:30 the fun began.


Most big races begin with a decent mass start where the elites take off and others filter to the back. The Resolution Run was the fastest start I have ever been a part of. I tried to pace several runners who moved away at an amazing rate. Finally I latched onto one guy with a white shirt and white hair who kept checking his watch. I stayed within five feet of him all the way to the one mile marker where we crossed the line at 7:46. It was already a personal best for me but I wasn't sure how long I could keep it up.

Shortly after the one mile marker we started to see the leaders who had already made the turn around at Caspersen Beach and now whipped past us heading back. It is always awesome to watch the elites, John Wood (17:45), Ricardo Lomas (18:17) and Heather Butcher (18:24) took the top three overall spots.


I like turn arounds in races, don't ask me why. Maybe it's because you get to see where you are in the larger scheme of the race or maybe it is something more personal. I saw a father high five his wife and kid as he was heading back and they were still moving forward. I saw a lady on hand powered bike pedaling with weary arms. I saw parent's urging their kids to keep going for, "Just a little longer."

The final loop around the pond would have been the most fun if I wasn't suffering so much. A few guys that looked my age passed me with only a short distance to go. The fast start had finally caught up with me as I started to fade. Giving it every last ounce of energy allowed me to stay true to my rhythm and cross the line with a new personal best - 25:52. Awards were going 5 deep but even so when my name was called for fifth place I was elated.


As with all of these, the race was also a social event. I got the opportunity to meet some of my fellow Zoomers as well as other runners some visiting from as far away as Illinois. My Resolution this year involves waking up early to train nearly every day. I actually started doing that around Christmas but so far, so good. The Resolution Run was an encouraging start to what could be an Epic New Year.

For you photophiles out there, I brought the camera along but with the dark skies and a shady pavilion I only took about 30 shots. They are posted on Facebook so feel free to tag away.

Resolution Run 5K Photos

Crossing the line at 25:52

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