I had lowered my finishing time expectations for this race because of the cold temperatures. I have not done many cold air runs yet this year and if I am not acclimated in tends to really bother my lungs. I set my original goal at 22 minutes, then adjusted it to 22:30 after I had seen the weather report.
On the morning of race day I felt great. We were to start in front of the high school, luckily we could stay inside before the race to keep warm. 10 minutes before race start I stepped outside to warm up a bit and get the blood flowing. It was COLD! I was really hoping that my body would warm up as I ran. Anyway - let's just skip ahead to the start.
Nobody seemed to want to toe the front line, I figured what the hell and got up there. When they started the race of course a huge group of young kids took off like they were running the 100 yard dash, and that's about as far as they led the race. I quickly found a good solid pace behind some young crazy kid in front that was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I was cold in my layers and gloves, I cannot imagine how cold he had to be! Running a 5K is such a beast because it is almost like running all out for 20 minutes. It hurts and you don't have a lot of room for error. I felt like I kept a solid pace right behind the race leader for most of the way. He was not pulling away and I had no desire to try to push the pace with him. At the first turnaround we both had a pretty decent lead on the pack behind us but there was a lot of race left at that point. At about the halfway point I started hearing some footsteps behind me and was passed by another guy but nobody else was even close. I kept the two leaders close but knew that I didn't have enough to take them. The distance actually seemed to go by quickly and we were soon on the last stretch. We all poured it on to the end and I finished 3rd overall finishing in 20:46. I was very pleased with my race performance. I didn't feel like I had gone out too fast and considering the weather conditions, I felt like I gave it what I had on this particular day. It was a pretty cool feeling for me to finish 7 seconds behind the winner, not bad for a 41 year old!
Here is a short video of the finish taken by professional videographer and wife Corrin. This will give you an idea of how close I was to finishing first. I will be back for revenge!