2014 Pagosa Springs Fourth of July 5k Race Report

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.

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