There are advantages to knowing a course before you run it. Grab some popcorn, get your comfy pants on, turn off your cell phone, and enjoy the featured program.
The Princeton 5K is near and dear to my heart. I helped (a tiny little bit) in the planning of the event and with setup and tear down. But, because the Race Director is also my neighbor and friend... he let me volunteer for AND run the race. Like literally run... not let me be in charge of it... that's scary.
With all that being said, I knew the course and I knew it was HARD. Like make you pee your pants a little you're so scared HARD. I also knew the hard hills came at the beginning and middle but the last mile-ish was all downhill/flat.
I also knew who was racing because I had my paws in the registration piece of the race. What I didn't realize is one particular 13 year-old girl (yes, you read that right) was racing and I have NO chance of beating her ever in this lifetime or the next one or probably even the next one.
But, I knew the course so life was good. We started on time and everyone raced off on the flat starting area... only to be met with the first of many hills .2 of a mile in. I had six females in front of me. I knew about five of them.
One by one I picked them off. On uphills and downhills I passed them. I asked at the only water stop how many females were in front of me and I was told one girl. "WHAT?!" I totally thought I was in the lead.
And then I saw her flying downhill as I was trudging up hill. She's quite incredible. So I gave up my plans of winning it overall for the chicks and settled for second place overall female and first in my age group. Official time: 25:52. Not my best, not my worst.
Overall the race was awesome. I can't wait to run it again next year. And volunteer for it. Lesson be learned: Know your course. If only that it's hilly, flat, windy, or in between. Plan your pace accordingly so you don't get chicked by someone like me.
Hugs everyone! Next up, Berlin Marathon, Germany!! More to come on that... after I finish it, of course.