The 2013 Winter Runderland 5K (and Donut 5K) was run in Anneberg Park in Manhattan, KS. And luckily it was on a nice day, since most of the weather since about mid November has been frigid (which leads to me not running!). But managed to get out and run, and since it's run at 3 pm, makes it all the much better.
This race has been put on by Red Dirt Racing, which is owned by Manhattan Running Company here in town, and they do a great job. The only downside I could see was there was only on port-o-potty, but eh, line wasn't too long! The proceeds each year goes to a different charity, and this year was Girls on the Run, a non-profit who gets girls out running as well as teaches life skills. So as always, I'm a softy for a good cause!
On to the race! I last ran this two years ago in 30 degree weather and on a slightly different course, but this year, I liked the change, it had a little cross country to start out with, a nice run through the trees before heading up the hill into the housing area across the street from the park. Man, I forgot how much that hill sucked! You do a little loop in the neighborhood and head down the hill, back to the park and across some more grass, and finish where you started, and according to Garmin, 3.10 miles, on the nose!
Well I went out in the lead pack of about 5, with one young gazelle leading the way and I settled into 3rd as we wound through the trees and headed to the 1 mile mark. I have to say also, there was an aid station, and for the folks doing the donut challenge, you had to stop there and on the way back to eat two Varsity "Otis" donuts, which is good, but not while running. Ok, with that little sidebar out of the way, I was passed just before the aid station, but passed another to put me in 3rd still, but as we came to the aid station / donut stop, the guy pulls off to eat. Yes, fist pump in my head! So I was racing in 2nd for a bit, until we hit the hill, and bang, a small quick female blew by me, like it was the first 200 meters, not a mile and change into the race.
It was a nice day to run! Female in orange was the 1st female
Yup, I got chicked! Oh well, I'm not as young or fast as I used to be! But she ended up winning the female race, and was 2nd overall, so not too shabby! I kept her in sight the entire race, but couldn't close on her, and as we came down the hill, I was passed by an older gentleman, man, what is up with me today? I kept the both of them in sight the rest of the race, but they were just out of reach and my legs couldn't churn out anymore power (hmmm, must be the long run layoff, jack wagon!), but I held it together enough to finish and not hurl, but I was thinking about grabbing a donut on my way by the 2nd donut stop and munch on it as I ran, but didn't sound very good at the time.
A nice cross country like finish!
I ended up finishing 4th, 1st overall in my AG, but the three that were in front of me was a high school senior (his CC team *did* win state this year), a fast female, and a 50-55 year old guy. Eh, what ya gonna do? Overall, had a good time, but finished in 20:06, so a bit back of my PR from earlier this year, so once I adjust to the cold, I gotta get out and hit some maintenance miles, especially if I want to punish myself with the half marathon in January in Topeka.
Me, looking for my lost fitness. Yup, slowly losin' it for the year!