In last year’s race I ran a surprisingly quick 5:06 for the 1760 yard race, but this year after several disappointing track workouts, I didn’t expect much more than a 5:20.
After an easy 2 mile warm up, it was soon time to assemble on the start line and wait for the gun. I seeded myself in the second row of a couple of dozen runners and reminded myself that the pain would be over in less than 6 minutes!
I’m not that experienced at running short, fast races, so I just tucked in behind the main pack and tried to stay as relaxed and focussed as possible. For the first 200 meters everyone jostled for position. I ran wide in lane 2 and 3 to avoid the tangle of legs that could easily ruin a race.
At the halfway mark I was probably in 11th or 12th place, still feeling ok despite a fast 2:35 opening couple of laps. I surged and catch 2 people ahead and then maintain the quicker cadence going into the final lap. Racing on a track usually brings out the competitive side in everyone. With less than 300 meters to go I battled with friend and rival Tommy Neeson and exchanged places with him a couple of times. He was too strong on the day as he kicked for him and left me trailing by about a second in 5 minutes 9 seconds.
All in all, it was a pleasing race though. I’m happy with my time and how I was able to maintain a quick pace. I finished 8th overall and was the first master (over 40 runner), so that was an added bonus too. Time to look ahead to tomorrow’s 20 mile run which will end my 6th week of Marine Corps Marathon training….