I had wanted to do this race for a while, and 2018 finally presented an opportunity for me to run. I always think the Midwest needs more winter races, so a Monday race to end 2018 was a must.
This race is an out and back on the Oak Leaf trail section in Franklin, WI. Because the Oak Leaf is a fairly narrow bike path, this race starts the 10k and 5k separately. Naturally, the 10k goes first, so those of us in the 5k had to wait until 10:15.
As with most Lighthouse Race Series runs, we had a strong PRO Team presence here. Although, a majority of PRO runners were in the 10k (including the winner!).
I arrived to the start super early since we were told in the race details that parking could get hairy. Got a good parking spot, and relaxed in the gym for a couple hours before the race start.
While waiting, I chatted with PRO teammate Anna while we waited for the 10k group to come back. Once they did, we were told the course was mostly good with a few icy spots. Most runners noted that the suspension bridge was the worst, which was no surprise.
As we headed outside, we saw a couple other PRO runners heading out for the 5k, including eventual female winner Cami.
Now, when you all read this next paragraph, some of you will be like, “Duh. Ben, you’re a dumbass for just realizing this.” I acknowledge that you’re correct now.
Heading outside about 15 minutes before the start, I knew it would be a little chilly. So for the first time in forever, I broke out the old Coach Jaynes (HS Track coach) dynamic warmups. And guys, I’ve never felt better at the start line. Apparently warmups work.
Or sometimes they work too well. As the race got going, I let the lead pack go and felt like I was moving at a maintainable 5k pace. Nope. I crossed the first mile in a very optimistic 5:45. Whoops.
Mile 2 is what really sucked my mojo away. After seeing the first mile split, I figured I might as well go for broke and keep pushing. But Mile 2 took us over the suspension bridge twice, and had a hairpin turnaround. Those three things absolutely crushed my momentum.
After slowing down there, I couldn’t regain as I slowed (or felt like I slowed) the third mile, which was mostly a slight uphill. I still ran both Mile 2 and 3 in the same 6:28, so that’s something I guess.
Came through the finish line in 19:20, which wasn’t bad for what the course offered, but I thought it could’ve been a little better. Still, that was good enough for 8th overall and 2nd in my Age Group. Not a bad way to end 2018.