I've started making a habit of doing the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler. This race is put on by the folks up at Falls Road Running Store who do an excellent job of setting up as well as putting out some of the best swag for races I've ever seen.
For a measly $65 race fee you get a timed entry and a winter pull-over...WITH MONKEY THUMBS! Seriously if that isn't worth the fee I don't know what is.
My friend Skutch, his gf Kristen and fellow DC Ragnario Brother Charlie came in town to do the race as well. Skutch and Kristen made a quick drive down from Philly Friday night and once they arrived it was a quick sleep before getting up bright and early for the race.
Living ~10 min from the Druid Hill area in Baltimore it wasn't long before we made our way up to the area. Found a parking spot just a bit off the course as the Falls Road folks were waving everyone in nice and coordinated. First we performed a few back and forths to the car - mainly Skutch forgetting things - then it was about a 1/4 mile walk down to the tent setup and the start of the race. The race itself starts off with a little show where runners 1-5 (I think that was it) get escorted down the field from a couple of bagpipers...pretty sweet. Then we were off to the races!
I didn't really have a high expectation for my performance, I was feeling fairly ill the night before. So my race plan was to go out easy and just see what I could output. The field was really packed in the beginning. I didn't even see Skutch explode like a canon while I stayed with the overall pack. The course itself was very mildly hilly and rolling but allowed people to loop back a few times to get a good view of some of the elite runners. Scary fast folks...think the winner went a cool 25 minutes.
I think I paced pretty well and was definitely pleased with my result as you can see below:
Aside from being stuck in the pack in the beginning I think I kept with my goal and increased as the race went on. Based on my Garmin data I think I left a little extra in the tank but since I wasn't really worried about a PR I'll take it. I also am a bit behind of where I was last year (42.17) at this event. Looks like I've got some training to do.
Post race there was a really large, almost circus tent full of plenty of coffee, hot chocolate, wine, cookies and soup available. Aside from the ~3000 people crowding in there getting access to the amenities was fairly easy. Grabbed a few things to eat then headed home to the next event the Beermile!
For those readers who don't know its best to take a look over at Beermile to get an idea of what this event is. I sadly had to opt out of this one but luckily Skutch, Charlie and Charlie's gf Christy were up for the challenge. More on this event over a Skutch's blog!
Next up on my plate is to work on my preseason workouts and get in shape for my first ultra distance race at the Hat Run up in Havre de Grace area.