SLC TRACK CLUB WINTER 15K
I met Ben and Matthew at the South Weber Park n Ride at 8:30, then quickly realized I had forgotten my racing flats...oops. Luckily, we were in my neighborhood already. So I grabbed those and we were off to Saltair. We warmed up two miles and changed shoes.
The race was quite competitive. Besides us three from Ogden we had Garek, Anthony, Nathan Peters, Sasha, and Benjamin. My plan today was to take the race out hard and honest. I wanted to be right on the edge, pace-wise. I had run more conservative starts the last two races and Garek outkicked me easily in both of those. So today I was determined to try to have a lead or at least try to run the kick out of him. I wasn't sure what to expect from Anthony. He's a solid runner and was an Olympic Trials qualifier, but I think he's still coming back from some recent injuries. But I figured that strategy would be best for racing him as well.
There was some wind coming from the East so headwind going out, but not terrible. Unfortunately, it turns out it was sort of a swirling wind, so it felt like it was windy the entire race. But we were off at the start. There was a pack of about 5 of us. I led most of the way to 1.5 miles. Anthony and Garek moved up a bit and I filed in behind them for the next mile, take a bit of shelter from the wind. Then around 2.5 miles I took the lead again and really tried to push it. They both sounded like they were working hard, so I tried to keep the pedal down. Anthony backed off a bit at 3 miles and Garek at 4 miles. As soon as I got some separation from Garek and I tried to push even a bit more to create a gap and hopefully give him a mental hurdle. At this point there was tons of dust/sand in the air blowing in our faces. I had sand in my teeth, eyes, ears, etc. It really sucked.
At the turnaround I was expecting tailwind, but as I mentioned it was more of a swirling wind and you felt it most of the race. I had about 10 second lead on Garek and 20 on Anthony. I pushed hard and refused to look back the rest of the way. Mile 7 was really windy for some reason and I slowed down quite a bit there. I was nervous I was losing stamina, but miles 8 & 9 were right back on pace again without any extra effort. It was just some strange wind tunnel I suppose.
With two miles to go I knew I could beat the course record of 48:04 if I just kept running the same pace and didn't let up. So I kept it going to the finish and crossed in 47:58 for the CR. Garek was 2nd and Anthony 3rd. Nathan Peters 4th and Ben 5th.
Splits: 5:09 5:06 5:03 5:03 5:00 5:09 5:14 5:04 5:04 and 5:00 pace last .32
5k Splits: 15:55 16:00 16:03
We cooled down on the salt flats behind the venue. It was a great day; the wind was your normal Saltair wind, but the temperature was easily the best I've ever experienced at an SLCTC Winter Series event.