barefoot benefit – race report

I ran a little local 5k race this past Sunday, the Barefoot Benefit. I tend to shy away from 5k races, preferring the longer distances. But the Barefoot Benefit is usually an exception due to it being barefoot on grass. I completed with the fastest pace I’ve run this year, in either training or races. This verified that I’m on the right track with my low aerobic training plan for the year.

the event

The event was held out in Sequoyah Hills Park right along the Tennessee river. In previous years the race was held on a well manicured golf course, but this year we had to contend with the possibility of “foreign” objects in the grass. I had no issues myself so it looks like theĀ organizers did a good job of sweeping the course.

The event had a nice little picnic atmosphere with live music and food. The money raised goes towards the Samaritan Place charity. The event is in it’s 3rd year, hopefully they will continue with the race, would hate to loose running in the grass once a year.

the race

With a small field of 60 or so runners and with 3 laps around the park to the finish, it was easy to see where I stood and how far ahead the leaders were. I set into a relaxing pace around 6:45 for the first lap. I only glanced at my watch once at the 1 mile mark to make sure I was maintaining a decent pace. Running by feel seemed to be working. I wasn’t running out of gas or bonking, just steadily increasing speed over the course of the race, passing about a dozen people on the way to the finish. Eventually I came in 5th overall.

I was surprised seeing my time as I approached the finish, it was too fast. Surely enough, the course was 0.1 miles short. A common mistake when measuring for the 5k, it’s easy to leave out that little bit. My official time was 19:30, but accounting for the short course, I was probably good for a 20:05 or 20:10 on that day. Still not bad. I haven’t been this close to a sub 20 minute 5k since the late 90’s.

conclusions – look ahead

Plugging this time into the McMillan race prediction calculator spits out a marathon time of 3hrs16min. In line with expectations of a sub 3:20 for next weeks race. A 3:15 is within reach if all goes very well. Still on track to go sub 3 by spring or summer next year.

Taper time is ahead, cutting some of the volume down and trying to relax without eating too much up until race day. I had a good 3 days off running after this race and had some twitchy withdrawal spasms in my legs, enough to wake me up at night. Tapering is a strange thing.

Getting excited!