This Saturday (2/27/2021) was the 34th Annual Real Florida 5k10k Run/Walk. Last year's race took place just before the COVID shutdown so I was happy to see this race was not cancelled/virtualed. As we had 350+ people sign up (reached capacity), many others felt the same way. Recovering from my broken collarbone in September 2020, I began running again in late November but suffered a leg pain problem stopping that. After trying self therapy for piriformis, I went back to Laura Podschun at Advent Health and she diagnosed it as a hamstring problem. Seven weeks of daily therapy paid off and I was running again but cautiously.
Race morning, I got there early to set up my Hammer table to distribute free samples of various products. A half an hour before the race I began my warm-up exercises and a quick walk to the 10k start line about 500 yards away. The temperature was reaching 75' as the sun had been up since 7:00 and the start was 8:30. I met friends Dustin Radney (2020 10k OA winner) and Ashley Samples (2020 5k OA winner) at the start as they were both doing the 10k this year. As the gun sounded, I held back as I wanted to start slow rather than my usual jackrabbit start to get ahead of everyone. In the first mile, I took it easy but found that many ahead of me were going slower than me. The single track made it a bit difficult to get around people but I began slipping by. At mile 2, I was amazed to see people walking and suffering as I believe many people underestimated the difficulty of trail running and the heat. I kept my pace up but was passed by another older man (also 65-69) who pulled ahead of me about 100 yards. I was able to follow him and not let him get far ahead. After mile 5, I realized that I was closing on him and at about 400 yards from the finish, I passed him and he didn't respond. I finished at 1:09:55 and he was 30 seconds back. I placed in second out of five with a time about 10 minutes slower than my previous finishes. The winner's time was 55:40 so he was flying.
At the front of the race, Ashley won her first 10k overall with 42:45 followed 58 seconds later by a 22 year old guy with Dustin in third with 45:57. It's great to back racing again!
|Free Hammer samples!|
|Waiting for the start|
|2nd place out of 5 in 65-69|
|Ashley and Dustin|