Sunday, July 15, 2012

Soldotna, Alaska 5K


Last year Hollie and I did this race. We really liked the course and the “bang for you buck” that we got. This year was just as good as last year, even better for Hollie.This race is put on as a group effort of several area Rotary clubs and since they have so many sponsors and in kind donations, the entry fee is quite low. This year it was $30 for an individual and $50 for a family. For the $50, we got nice fabric drawstring bags, long sleeved shirts and tooth brushes. 

The post race goodies included hot dogs, hamburgers (with cheese, onions, lettuce and tomato if desired), soft drinks, coffee, chips, bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, bananas, and oranges. They had way more food than was needed and encouraged people to take leftovers.

The one place that they did lack was with the awards. There was a 5K and a 10-mile race and the awards consisted of 1st, 2nd, 3rd place ribbons for the top male and female in each race. People did not seem to mind that there were no age group awards.

This race was important to Hollie. In his day to day training, he alternates days of biking and days of walking and running and he has been increasing the running segments with the goal of running the entire distance in this race. The course is mostly downhill, with the first mile losing the most elevation. He was able to run the whole thing! He did not get the time he was hoping for, but this is the longest continuous run that he has done in over four years. As most of you know, he fell off a ladder and got an open fracture to his ankle area and now has steel plates and 12 screws in that area. Within 6 months of the injury, he was back to walking and worked his way up to becoming a competitive race walker. Race walking is easier for him because the technique requires much less foot flexion than does running. Anyway, I think he is pleased that he could do the continuous run, but disappointed with the time. I also think that if he does not have ankle pain in the next few days, he will really start to train to race 5Ks, rather than race walking.

As for me, I ran pretty well. I don’t have my running log with me and I can’t recall what I ran last year so I don’t know how today’s performance compares. Earlier in the year, I had set this as a goal race where I wanted to go below 26 minutes, but I just have not done the necessary training and I need to drop about 5 pounds. I’m pleased with my time of 26:55. The first downhill mile was 8:41, the second mile was 8:52 and I did 9:22 for the last 1.1.

This was a really nice race---well organized, good course, great post race goodies and the weather was ideal with the temperature 51 degrees at the 9:30 am start. That’s unreal, considering it is the middle of July.

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