I ran the Cosmo 7K this morning. It appealed to me for two reasons. First, it’s a women’s race. Second, it’s an odd distance . . . guaranteed PR! From the start, the day went well. The race didn’t start until 9:30 am, so I had a leisurely morning at home before heading to the race and arriving at maybe 8:45. I picked up my shirt and free “Tito’s Vodka Cosmo 7K” glass – yes, the race was sponsored by a liquor company – lined up for the potty, and then warmed up. I ran maybe 3/4 of a mile warm-up, nice and easy, and a few strides.
We all lined up for the race, and then they announced the race would be starting in the other direct. I figured I’d be one of the faster runners and had been near the front but now found myself before a large contingent of people who obviously did not plan to run quickly. I carefully elbowed my way closer to the front, at which point a women informed me that she and her friends had been lined up for some time and would be starting at the front. I was polite and friendly, but mostly mystified as to why these obviously slow runners wanted to start at the front.
Anyway, finally, the race was off, maybe 10 minutes later than projected gun time, not bad. I quickly found myself in third place, and then a young girl passed me, putting me in fourth. I had glanced at my watch and noted pace in the low 6s, so I was worried I was going to fast, but I didn’t want to lose any more places. The first mile went by in 6:53. I was feeling OK, but not great. Half a mile later, we passed the 5K turnaround, and two of the three people in front of me peeled off, leaving me in 2nd place in the 7K. This was pretty cool. They’d closed the street, and ahead of me I could see the bike escort and the leader. She was pretty far ahead, so I didn’t think I could catch her, but I really wanted to keep 2nd place.
I passed two miles in 7:06, and then it was time for the turnaround. At the turnaround, I could see that I wasn’t that far ahead of 3rd place, less than a minute, certainly, so I really focused on keeping my pace. It was cool when we started passing the main pack and people started cheering for me – you know the way people do for race leaders? I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that before. Usually there are so many men ahead of me, I’m pretty far back even if I’m doing well relative to the other women. I was definitely hurting, though, and it was getting hotter. I passed the 3-mile marker, and it seemed like the race was going on forever, and THEN my watched beeped 3 miles. Ack! The marker was in the wrong place. Mile 3 was in 7:23. At this point, I could see the finish area. I started glancing at my watch periodically, and the tenths of miles were just ticking by excruciatingly slowly. Mile 4 was in 7:22, so I was doing a good job of maintaining my pace. Finally, I crossed the finish line – in 2nd place!
(No smiles at this point. The runners around me are 5K runners.)
Except at the awards, they called me out in 3rd. Was I passed and didn’t notice? I think this is unlikely. I met the woman who had won – we both though she had won, and she had a bicycle escort, so it seems very unlikely she was passed. I think most likely the woman called out as the winner had signed up for the 7K and run the 5K. I just wish I knew! Oh well. One way or another, it was a great race for me.
Update: The results came out, and I looked up the women who won on Athlinks. Given that her fastest 5k ever was 27:xx, I think it’s pretty certain she didn’t run a 7K in 28 minutes. Therefore, I’d say she ran the 5K, and consider myself 2nd.
4.2 miles, 30:14, 7:11 mpm
I’ve never run a 7K before, but my fastest post-college 5K was at 7:09 pace, so I’m pretty frikking happy with the time. On to the next!