Quick report from Pagosa Springs, CO where I’m on Vacation with the family. Decided to run the local 4th of July 5k on a whim – it was only $15 and gave me an excuse to go for a run in the morning. Originally we were going to have some of the other members of the family run it as well but after a long day of travel the rest of the family opted to stay in bed rather than run in the 5k.
Since I was the only one going, rather than drive a car to the race I ran the 4.5 miles into town from our relatives house to the start of the race. I got going a bit later than planned so I had to push the pace a bit to get there on time. On the run down I could feel the high elevation (7400 feet) affecting my breathing. Here’s my track from the way down: Way Down. My heart rate was 158 for a 7:37 per mile down hill – much higher than I would expect at sea level.
The 5k itself was a fun small town affair. It was family friendly so there were no numbers or official timing. However, I turned it competitive anyway. At the start I went out in second place behind a pretty fast young guy. I got passed by a couple 20 year olds about 3/4 a mile in. It was an out and back course and after the turn I was able to catch up to one of the 20 year olds and passed him to get to a podium position :-). He passed me back in a gallant attempt to beat the old man but then I passed him back in the last 800 meters for a 3rd place finish. The data from the race shows that I worked way too hard for a 20:38 5k. My heart was above 190 at the finish.
I was able to speak to a few local runners after the race – although about 75% of participants were from out of town. I got a good tip for some trail running adventures from the race director – which will be my next blog post. The outfit that put it on – GECKO is a local group that raises money for outdoor youth education and the founder is a local ultrarunner. Good people and fun race. Afterwards headed to the town parade which was pretty awesome.