“It’s a little hilly, but they are mostly rolling hills. Nothing really that bad.” Me to Kenny before the start of the Spring Forward 15K, which kicked off this years Rochester Runner of the Year Series.
I must have had such a poor recollection of the course because of the lack of oxygen going to my brain the last time I ran it. As you can see from the elevation profile below the course does nothing but go up and down.
I ran this race once before in 2012 and it didn’t go as I had hoped. This year went much better both in terms of my place and my time. There was some solid competition this year, but nothing like the last time I ran when Tim Chichester won it in 48:42. Kenny was sure to run well and after Dave Bradshaw’s 26:10 at Johnny’s I figured he was going to be well out of reach as well. If everything broke right I thought I might be able to sneak into the top 3, but I didn’t recognize a few guys who looked pretty fast and I don’t have a good history at this race.
Kenny and Dave took it out together pretty quick but by the 2nd mile Kenny had broken away and Dave remained a good 50 meters ahead of me.
Mike Reif the GVH coach informed me around the 3 mile mark that I had about a 50 meter lead on whoever was behind me. Dave was holding steady 50 meters ahead putting me in 3rd place with a little cushion close to 1/3rd of the way through the race. That was enough to make me smile.
Drew had plans to run this race as a tempo run, this sounds like the worst possible thing in the world to me. Races are tough, but tempo runs are awful. Still this seems like something other Roadkill Racers, especially those prone to running marathons, like to do and he seems happy enough at 2 miles.
What’s with all these smiles? Must be because Heather Ostrander is cheering us on and is the most enthusiastic Roadkill Racer ever (as well as the provider of these pictures). Joe didn’t seem happy with his time after the race but he ran 20 seconds per mile faster than last year so I’m not sure what he was complaining about.
Somewhere around mile 6 I caught up to Dave, who was nicer to me than anyone I’ve ever passed before giving me a fist bump and encouraging me to keep pushing. Knowing that at least one other runner was close on my heels I took Dave’s advice and laid down a pretty good 6-7 mile split just under 5:40 pace. Kenny of course was long gone, but Dave and a runner who turned out to be John Schnitter from East Amherst dogged my steps the rest of the way to finish. I was happy to see Dave hold on to 3rd place by 1 second.
I crossed the line with an official time of 53:22 in second place having run a pretty steady pace. This was a 80+ second PR for me, although I’ve only run two 15k’s both on this course. The only big variations in my splits were in miles 7-9 which isn’t surprising considering they are a long uphill followed by a long downhill. I picked up 14 points in the RROY series and a jar of organic peanut butter for my 2nd place finish.
As a final note (more of a question really). Can anyone explain why this always happens to me? I start my watch as fast as I can when the starter says go, and stop it a few steps after I cross the finish line mats, but somehow my watch time is always a few seconds faster than the official time. In this case they even had chip time and gun time which were both the same as I started on the line. Is it just some oddity where both my watches run a bit slow?