The Chaplin 5K Road Race on Saturday, June 2, 2012 was the tenth annual edition. I really didn't know anything specific about the course other than it was in Chaplin, covered 3.1 miles, and the start/finish location was at the Chaplin Elementary School. I had decided to do the race so that I could get together with a former work intern for a run, in spite of the fact I had just done a speed workout on May 31, 2012. He actually lives very close to Chaplin and the elementary school.
I woke up at 7:00 am on Saturday morning to the sound of rain outside. It was going to be a wet run for sure. At least the temperature was in the 65 degree F range. Anyway, it took me about forty minutes to get to this small school in the middle of nowhere. I had to be careful not to miss any turns because there were many. When I reached the school it was still raining, albeit lightly. I met up with Jared, an intern we had hired in my department a year or so and his fiancee. Jared had become a regular lunch runner during his time at the CTDEEP.
Shortly after the race started, the rain began to come down hard. It didn't take long for my running shoes to get waterlogged. Nothing like running with ankle weights/wet shoes. The first mile had a long, steep hill in it, which surprised and tired me out quickly. But I tried to keep Jared in sight. I was surprised by the number of older guys in the race too. Here I was doing this obscure little 5k, with almost as much competition in my age group as I'd find in much larger races. Unfortunately, I couldn't see any mile markers and that didn't help my pacing.
I usually like to scope out some part of the course before any race, but that didn't happen. So I kept trying to catch people ahead and that helped to motivate me. I wasn't making too much progress though. I tried to keep up with another guy I knew, but he slowly pulled away from me. By the time I realized where the finish was, I finished the race in 23:45, a 7:39 pace.
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by my time given the circumstances, but I was somewhat. As it turned out, I finished in15th place out of 90, in fifth place in the 50-59 age group. I told you it was a bit competitive. Let's chalk this one up to experience. BTW, Jared ended up about a minute ahead of me and took 1st place in the 20-29 age group. Great job, Jared! (See our picture above after the race in front of the school.)