I had a chance to run the Pinery Fall Classic for the first time this year. In fact, it was the first competitive run I’ve done in quite a long time.
As they were starting to queue up the runners for 5-kilometer trail race, they announced that faster runners should come up to the front. “Even if you think you are fast,” they added. Since I knew I liked to start out strong, I heeded the call and moved to the very front.
At the whistle, I set off with a group of 88 runners. For the first half of a kilometer, I was in second place. That didn’t last long, however as four people passed me and kept a pace that I couldn’t match.
Over the next half a kilometer or so, four or five more people passed me. I kept a pretty good pace, on average with what I would normally run, but there wasn’t any way for me to make up ground. Those runners ahead of me were fast.
Part of this route took us across a sandy beach for about 500 meters. There were also several stairs on boardwalks that we needed to traverse. These things slowed me down a little.
I didn’t smash any records or even earn a personal best time, but I did manage to finish in 9th place overall and earned the top spot for my age category. It felt really good to accept that first place medal.
It was cool to see the digital timing too. No one had to record your bib number and time on a clipboard. There was a chip on the back of the bib that beeped as you crossed the finish line. You could even check the results online almost immediately after the run.
I might have to find another competitive trail run to do soon. This one was a lot of fun!