There seems little point in writing about my week in training as I haven’t done a great deal since last week’s Ironman 70.3 in Edinburgh and so I will just write about today’s event, the Cool Summer Mornings 5k at Clermont, Florida.
It was nice to finish last Sunday’s race knowing that 3 days later, we’d be flying off to Florida on holiday and a great chance to relax, lie in the sun, recharge the batteries and of course, do a couple of 5kms. Running, this time, isn’t actually high on my agenda for this holiday and so apart from today’s race and Parkrun next Saturday, I don’t plan to do much which is unusual for me!
We had an early start this morning (that’s 3 this week) to leave at 5.45am to head across to Clermont. It takes roughly 30mins to get there and with the race starting at 7.15am, a Sprint and Super Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon all taking place around the same time, you need to get there pretty sharpish to get a decent space. Walking to registration to get our race packs, I did get a lot of bike envy with some stunning bikes on show and also seeing the lake, I did feel a bit jealous after last week’s crazy waves although my initial thought was it was nice but no Firth of Forth!
Having done this race several times now, we know the route pretty well and it’s a nice flat, out and back route along the shores of Lake Minneola. I wasn’t expecting much from this race this time due to last Sunday’s events and, if anything, it would be good to get the legs moving again and help with recovery. Well, that lasted until the announcer did the usual 3, 2, 1…GO and I was straight into race mode! I focused on my cadence, just as I had done on Sunday and went off reasonably well although I didn’t think it was particularly fast until I saw that I went through the first mile in 6.29. I’ve run faster at home but not in this heat and certainly not when trying to take it easy!
I spotted a familiar face on the course, Kurt, a guy who also does this race every year as well as the other races in the series. We’re in the same age category and so I usually see him when we go to collect our age category prizes at the end. I passed him just after the turning point and kept my eyes on the guy in front. Mile 2 was a little bit slower in 6.41 as the heat began to kick in and I remembered that I don’t normally run in baking sunshine. I checked over my shoulder as I got towards mile 3 (6.52) but there was nobody showing any signs of passing me and I gave it one last shot with a sprint to the finish. I crossed the line and was delighted to see the bottle of water as much as the medal etc!
I spotted Kurt crossing the line and I caught up with him to say hi as I headed back along the course to look out for Allison and her dad come in. His opening words were “You’re the guy who does one race and heads overseas”, smiled then walked off after he spotted his partner. It dawned on me right then that he must get p****d off when he sees me as he usually wins the top age category prize in every race in the series every year except this one when I beat him!
One of the great things about this race, apart from the location, is the post-race spread. There’s usually hotdogs and watermelon, which is excellent after a run on a hot day, and today there were little pastries, bananas, chewy energy bars and crisps. There was also beer, which is unusual to see. When I say beer, I mean that in the loosest sense of the word as its Michelob. Still, it’s not often you get that kind of thing for free after a race and I can’t imagine that being welcomed in the UK!
We stayed for a bit before the awards ceremony. The awards in races over here are different as the age categories go up in increments of 5 years rather than 10 back home and the prizes are awarded to the top 3 in each category. I won the 1st Male Masters prize, which was a bonus as it’s usually the first in 45-49 category I win a prize in. I think one of the great attractions in these races as the age categories start from 5-9 and is open to people what want to walk the course so this opens it up to a great family event.
We’ll have a few days of relaxation, shopping, a trip to Epcot then we’re going to do some Parkrun tourism and try the Clermont Parkrun. Looking forward to it!
Do you ever look out for races when you go on holiday?