Before the race:
Being that this was a Biggest Loser 5k, trainer Bob Harper was there. So were Phil and Amy (from SC), Ali and Helen who were the first two female winners. There was also a giant (like 6'7") former contestant that I didn't recognize. It was very inspirational. The tv crews were there, and the episode is supposed to air on Thanksgiving. The theme was "Don't Compete, Just Complete". so there were a ton of walkers. And they all wanted to be up near the front where Bob the trainer was speaking. Apparently, they are doing 20 of these events next year and this one was the pilot. We had 2600 people signed up to run between the 5k and the 1 mile runs!
So they gave the inspirational "get America moving" speech, which is certainly something that I can get behind. But I don't think they specified the "get the hell out of my way" point quite effectively enough. The starting gun went off and we didn't move. Remember, we were maybe 30 feet behind the starting line. The former contestants led things off, and I don't remember passing them but apparently I did.
The start was incredibly congested. I started the Garmin as soon as I crossed the timing mat, and it was a full 2 minutes until I finally was able to get under a 10 minute pace! So much for PR-ing. They never said walkers should stay to the right! I didn't think you could fit that many people in the first 35 ft of a race. But I must have passed a hundred people in the first few minutes. Kelley got to talk some with Ali, one of the winners and share her weight loss story. And that meant I was going to have to stay closer to an 8 minute pace to have a chance to PR rather than the 8:20 pace I was going to try.
Once I made my way past the walkers I checked my pace. 6:54, too fast. slow down. 7:04, still too fast. 7:02, damnit slow down or your going to burn out. Even with the congestion at the start I checked my distance for the first time at 1.2 miles, about 9:20. That's way too fast, no way I can hold it.
Bob the trainer ran with the crowd some. I almost caught him, he was maybe two people ahead of me when he peeled off from the pack to join the 1 milers at their start. I still got to yell a "Hey Bob Rock on!" when I went past him and he did acknowlege it. That was kind of cool.
At 1.7 miles my abs gave out. I walked a little bit just to catch up so I could hang onto an 8 minute pace to try and muscle it out. But that's what happens when you start out too fast. The abs can't hold up. Plus they said there were two water stops along the route and I was surprised to get past halfway before seeing the first one. But I walked the water stop at 1.9 miles and a couple more times after that. But after that first water stop I couldn't hold pace consistently for any real distance.
About 2.5 miles in I just decided to stray out at a 9 minute pace. Still had to walk once more. But I should have been able to finish it out.
The route was fantastic. It was really flat, a lot of time off of the roads. It wound through an amusement park, through parking lots, and finished on the boardwalk. Once again, management was the key. Navigate the traffic at the start and keep an even pace that you can hold throughout the race. Consistency is the key.
The goal to finish was under 26:00 for a PR. When I crossed the mat I stopped the garmin at 28:16. Missed it by that much. Still I put up a valiant effort.
The official results came in, and my chip time was 26:35. I was much closer than I thought! Not sure how the chip time was that much faster than the garmin time, but ok I'll take it. Finished 133 out of 1945 finishers, which is still much higher than I was expecting too. But top 10% is nice!
Kelley at the finish after the race. She finished in 31:06 and had a great time!
My friend Mae Anne found me after the race. Blogger meetups are the best! Her husband and kids were there too and they were so sweet.
And Kelley got a pic with the big man Bob Harper! He was greeting people at the finish line, but wasn't there when either one of us finished. But during a spot while there wasn't very many people were crossing the line, she grabbed him for a pic. Bob is awesome! He was so cool and personable, I was totally starstruck.
Have you ever been to Myrtle Beach before? It's the tackiest beach in the country. You either love it or you hate it. I hate it. It's the redneck's riviera. I'm not real big on beaches to begin with, but MB has got to be the bottom of the barrel. It is the redneck's riviera.