Tuesday, January 2, 2018

01.01.2018 Fair Lawn 1st Day 5K Race Report

My first race report in a long time.  It feels good.  The Fair Lawn 1st Day 5K is a nice, small event to kick off the new year.  It was my 3rd year running it in a row, and my best result.  A relatively flat course, I am now fairly familiar with it and know what to expect.

The race is well organized from the time you arrive at packet pick up and the warm of the middle school gym was needed.  It was a balmy 9 degrees out.  The facilities and food/drink were also easily accessible.  

Fair Lawn 1st Day also represents a team participation event as well.  I loosely belong to a running club called North Jersey Masters.  It's a great club featuring runners of all demographics.  They attend events, hold group runs and training sessions, as well as social meet ups.  2018 is my first year in the club picture too.  I'm the dork on the far right in the red shoes.

As far as the race went, I had no idea what to expect.  I haven't raced in awhile and it was F-ing cold as anything.  I really just wanted to get out and run fast again.  I hit the first mile marker in 6:27.  I wasn't upset, but I didn't know if I could maintain that speed.

The course is well marked, but with the weather being so frigid, there were virtually no spectators.  I was in my head the whole time though.  My goal for mile 2 was to be strong and maintain my pace.  I know that generally, the third mile of a race I can gut it out.  Mile two can sometimes be a let down.  For some reason, there wasn't a person giving splits at mile 2 and my arm sleeves cover my watch, so I just kept running.  The wind was whipping pretty hard so I simply wanted to run and get done.

Mile 3 and the .1 represented a challenge for virtually the whole time.  I caught a couple people during mile 1 and 2, but one tall dude caught me during mile 2.  I stayed with him and we traded position literally the whole time during the last 1.1 miles.  About 200 meters out, he passed me for good and finished 3 seconds ahead of me.  I tried to stay, but he had a little more left than me.  I have to say though, luckily he was there because he definitely helped me finish strong and there is no way I break 20 minutes without his competition.  

My only major letdown was that my watch was set on the "other" setting and because of this I didn't get any run data, mile splits, cadence, etc.  F.  Based on the mile 1 split, I figure that mile 2 and 3 were probably around 6:40-6:45/mile pace.

I finished 9th overall and second in my age group.  Finishing in 19:59 official time in single digits is a major win for me.  Especially since I only had a small warm up because of the cold.

The race ends and there is immediately support for runners with water and the warmth of the middle school.  There was coffee and plenty of bagels and fruit.  

I waited roughly a half hour for the awards ceremony to get my age group award and was pleasantly surprised by a $10 gift certificate along with my medal.  It was a nice race for a smaller event and it was appreciated.

The only complaint I have, if there is one, is that the T Short is short sleeve and cheap cotton.  I am a bit of a race shirt snob.  I like a tech T and in the winter, I think it should be long sleeve.  However, as a fundraiser for a lot of avenues, the Fair Lawn Rotary gets a pass.  They do a lot of good.

It's really a great little race for those that are in the area.  The race registration was only $25 and everything runs well.  Keep up the good work and I will see you on 01.01.2019

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