Saturday, March 31, 2007
This weekend here in the ATL the big Final 4 basketball tourney is in town, at the Georgia Dome. I saw on active.com that the Final 4 was having a 5K race starting & ending in Centennial Olympic Park, going through downtown and past the GA Dome.
I thought this would be a unique race to run, so signed up. It turns out it actually was the first ever Final 4 5K, which they'll continue next year in San Antonio. The only thing that sucked is that I had to get up real early to make it there for the race at 8:00a. I had to leave at 6:20a in order to park at the MARTA park & ride station and make it to Centennial Pk in time.
It was a decent course, a few hills but not too bad. There was a huge spectrum in running ability, with some extremely good runners at one end, and a few grandpa couples that were just walking it at the wack end of the spectrum.
As always, running is the most humbling sport ever, as a few 50-something women and little girls sonned me during the race, passing me by, no Pharcyde. Around 2.5 miles while going up a hill, this guy pushing a stroller with his toddler kid zoomed passed me. At least no 250 lb. guys passed me this time! There was a cute 25-yr girl that kept chatting with everyone, including commenting to me about how the downtown air sucks. This was cool yet annoying since I and other normal humans are breathing heavily, and homegirl is almost doing a standup comedy routine talking to everyone, chismosa-steez. At least I sonned her at the end.
They didn't have anyone to give the times at the 1 or 2 mile mark, which sucked. I think I went at too slow a pace. At around 2.5 miles I kicked in to another gear & passed several folks that had passed me along the way. There was no 3-mile marker, so I was surprised when I could see the end of the race. Natch I then had to sprint these last 100 meters.
In the end I felt like I left something on the course, I should've ran at a slightly faster pace. My time sucked but at least wasn't totally effed up. I only run a few races per year, so I've always been a hack, yet a few years ago I hacked my way to 24-25 minutes, so I'd like to get back to that standard.
One cool thing is the race had a little microcontroller chip that you tie to your shoe. At the end of the race, you throw the chip in a bin. To my surprise, 30 minutes later before they gave away a few Final 4 tickets, they had the results printed out!
I finished 264th out of 761 overall, LOL. I noticed that the results tended to match regular sports reality, with the 20-somethings dominating. I ran a few of these 5Ks that are bizarro world steez where the 40s beat the 30s, and the 20s are even worse. In the last race I ran the 40-44 women division winner sonned the 30-34 men division winner, LOL. Actually they didn't have age group divisions in this Final 4 race, only overall men & women winner. It didn't matter for me though since I was nowhere near the Top 3 in my age group, LOL.