First Race of 2014: Run Away With Cirque du Soleil 5k

Friday evening, I received a message from a friend of mine, that her and her boyfriend were unable to use bibs for the Run Away With Cirque 5k, slated for the next day, at Las Vegas’ Springs Preserve. She offered her bibs to me, to let us get some use out of them. While I was hesitant, as I know how I run 5ks, and with Sand Hollow Marathon only a couple weeks away, did I want to risk it, and put forth a quality 5k effort?

The answer was a reserved, Yes!

Getting to the Springs Preserve a little early, I ran into another friend that was supposed to be working the event, then ended up running it, too. With a scheduled start time of 8:30am, I made my way toward the start line a little after 8. I didn’t have any way to safely stash my long sleeve over-shirt, so I had to tie it around my waist, and hope it didn’t fall off during the run.

As we waited to start, I had a conversation with a gentleman wearing The Oatmeal’s ‘The Blerch’ shirt, we both agree, rather than treating our bodies like sacred temples, we treat them like fast moving dumpsters. That is why we run.

Starting ten minutes late, to allow for as many photos with Mayor Carolyn Goodman and the Cirque performers, the runners were getting restless. The one performer who kept yelling, “GO!” was not helping matters, at all.

When the air horn’s call filled the air and our ears, we took off in a massive, flowing crowd of runners. The cacophony of sounds, from cheering, clapping, foot falls, music escaping ear buds and the breathing of competitors, finally, it was go time.

Trying my best to pace myself, I settled in to what seemed like a steady pace. There was a small group of three or four of us that kept moving, as a linear pack, through the rest of the field before us. Directly before me, was a kid, probably 10 years old, or so, I decided to keep him in sight, and use him as my pacer.

Little did I know, he was fast. Very fast – to me, at least.

Approaching the half-way point, turn-around, I realized, there were not as many people making the return trip, before me, as I would have expected. It did not truly dawn on me what my pace was, until I glanced at my watch for the first time, around mile 2.

I was feeling gassed, no surprise, as I was holding a 7:20 at that moment. My best mile split, to that point in time, was a 6:58, that’s all. After a few yards of a slower pace, I willed myself to continue at a strong pace, and not to walk, not to slow down more.

Seems like it worked.

Making the last turn, with finish line in sight, I dug deep, found some motivation and energy left in the tank, and finished strong.

GPS stated a 23:01 finish. Another PR.
Official timing results state both a 21:07 and 21:09 – however, many people seem to have a 1:30-2:00 discrepancy between their watch and official timing.

GPS also said my fastest mile (non-split) was a 6:29. Holy damn, that explains why I was so tired and far forward in the pack.

Had I raced in my own age group, rather than the bib owner’s group, I would have been 4th in age group. Not bad for a sizable race, with some FAST runners. An elevation gain of a mere 49 feet was a definite factor in being able to run that well.

Feeling good, ready and anxious for Sand Hollow Marathon and Labor of Love 50k. With my new watch and ProCompression gear, along with some apparel, I think I will run well, and look good doing it. HA!

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