I love this race! With over 14,000 runners and walkers, it's amazing to be running in a constant sea of runners and be part of something so huge. Our team this year had 29 registered and 25 made it to the start and finish line tonight! I'm so very proud of all of them.
I finished the race in 33:42 @ 10:47 pace. This is a course PR and a much better finish time than I expected considering my foot was bothering me while standing at the start and my legs felt really tight for the first mile. I was struggling a bit during the first mile, but I guess that's because I was running faster than I thought =P It was very crowded and hot, but I found my groove and ran the whole thing minus 2 brief water breaks. I'm shocked I finished only ~1.5 minutes slower than my 5K PR and a course PR by over a minute. Splits: 11:09 - 10:53 - 10:18 /mile.
They did a great job organizing the start this year with runners lined up on Central and the walkers lined up perpendicular on Eola drive and starting after all the runners. This helped ease some of the congestion and ensure the walkers didn't get trampled by the speedy runners. I also loved this year's course. It was a nice rectangle and most of it was on paved roads and very little bricks. My group started in the front of the 25+ min runners, so we were essentially in the middle of the pack, and it was an awesome sight when I turned onto Robinson and could see the wall of people in front of me. The weather cooperated too with a nice breeze, but it was still very humid because of all the people and during parts of the course when houses blocked all the wind.
But the best part was the after party at my place where we hung out, ate yummy food (and we still have way too many cookies leftover) and shared race stories. It's always great to hear the enthusiasm of all the new runners who finished their first 5k tonight and had a great time! Yay! Thanks CDL for another great year!