The Year Starts With A Great Race

Today I ran the Tropi Trot 5K in Coral Gables, Florida.  I've never heard of this race but a fellow forumite, Chiqui74, was doing it so I thought it would be a fun Winter 5K.  I'm coming off my first marathon and I'm currently training for marathon # 2 in 6 weeks, so I felt it was a good chance to PR.

The race was at a park in Old Cutler Road.  It's a pretty garden but it's full of curves and hills.

This race had the best non T-Shirt swag I've seen here.  We got a mug in lieu of a T-Shirt.  We also got an iRun bracelet.  Cool.

I got there at 6:30am and picked up the bib and swag.  I called Chiqui74 and we met for a few minutes before the race started.  Here are some of the pictures we took:

Temps were great for running; low to mid 50s.  It was also breezy so I was cold.

A few minutes before the start we head to starting area.  The RD (or I assumed he was) talked for a few minutes about the race being tough, the course being tight and that nobody but the newbie 5K runners should expect a PR.  So, we headed out expecting the worse.

I did not know this was a trail race.  We ran on at least four separate surfaces: concrete/asphalt (in which I train), grass, sand/dirt, and regular terrain/rocks.  There were not that many people and we stood at the 7mm marker.  Neither Chiqui nor me do 7mm but since there was nobody between us and the ones standing in front, we risked it.

Chiqui and I started together.  She wanted a sub-30 and I did not know what I wanted.  So, she ran with me for about a half mile but it was my day so I headed out in front of her.  I had my iPod giving me the best of the best and I felt strong.  So, I started racing.

When we headed back to the finish line at around Mile 0.65, we headed to our first "hill".  For us Miamians those were hard hills!  However, since this was just a 5K, I kicked the hill to the curb and kept climbing.  There were no mile markers and I knew the course would be long because the water stations were off from my Garmin.  Split: 8:50.

Mile 2 was heading up and down the hills and getting back on the grass.  I passed approximately 10 people and I was passed by only 1 at this point, so I think I positioned myself well.  There was another "hill" which I attacked.  I was running strong.  Split: 8:39.

Mile 3 was heading downhill and towards the trail part.  Lots of rocks on the terrain up and down the hill, so I had to slow down a little because I did not want to fall.  I was passed by this lady that I passing me and she passed me for good.  I was getting tired from the hills but feeling strong still.  Split: 8:51.

Now I know I would not PR because the course was long and I mean 0.11 long.  I knew it when I hit Mile 3 and I knew it when the Garmin clocked 3.10.  I passed the 5K mark at around 27:33 which is my goal PR but I had another 0.10 to go.  I crossed the finish line at 28:13 (official).  So, technically not a PR but still a very strong run for a trail, non-flat, curvy course.

After the race, I waited for Chiqui74 to cross the finish line and she did at sub-30 official time.  The first thing that crossed her mouth was: the course is long.  I laughed because those were my exact words when I crossed the finish line.  While waiting for the refreshments and the results, we talked to other runners and everybody clocked the same distance: 3.21.

When the results were posted, I realized I WON MY AG!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sweet.  Chiqui74 also placed on the podium but I'll let her tell that story through her RR.  Here are some pics from the ceremony.

So it was long but I really do not care.  This was my strongest and best 5K ever.  I felt strong and capable of doing much better on a better course.

Thanks for reading!


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