Friday, August 8, 2008

USATF Masters Championship 5000m

Good time in Spokane, WA at the USATF Masters Championship. Enjoyed jogging the city night before after my plane arrived. The hotel clerk said that trail behind hotel went farther than I could run unless I was Forest Gump - after under 2 miles it ends (?) - so I just take to the streets - some really cool bridges over a gorge with views of waterfalls and a little dam - much nicer than I expected - somehow I envisioned nothing but desert flatlands.

Warm-up few miles downstream a few miles on the river from my hotel where the race was held - I happen across that trail the clerk spoke of called the Centennial Trail and see from posted maps where I made a wrong turn (btw - I think I could have run to the end of the trail - it was under 15 miles from the hotel and a part of me wanted to bag the race and take on that challenge - but I resisted that temptation). Very nice trail overlooking the Spokane River in the gorge below.

The race 5000m or 12.5 times around a 400m track. ~20 runners 30-44 - only one "contender" under 40 as it turns out so except for the winner of the race all those around and in front of me were in my 40-44 AG.

lap splits (5000m is 12.5 laps).

1 75.5 4th place overall, 3rd age group
2 80.6 I get passed but he pulls me by one guy so I end up still 3rd AG.
3 80.7
4 80.2 (5:17 1600m)
5 81.9
6 84.2 I think it was this lap I drop to 4th AG.
7 83.3
8 85.8 (5:35)
9 87.6
10 86.6
11 89.0 I drop to 5th
12.5 124.4 (600m) (5:45 1600 pace for 1800) I drop to 6th near the beginning of this and I watch him take 4th too - I just couldn't muster a strong finish kick - I regret not putting more into catching those two that finished within 10 second in front of me - maybe I couldn't have got them but I felt I might have found something more inside to try.

17:20 (5:35 mpm pace).

Winner I recall got 15:45 but somehow didn't lap me (not exactly sure how that's possible - maybe I got his time wrong).

So as you can see this race was a fader. I went in thinking sub1000 seconds (16:40) expecting perfect conditions on a track with spikes in Washington (surely better than any race conditions in Houston - maybe not) so my focus was on even 80 second laps - which started to slip away after 4 to end.

Race condition adjustments - calculated for fun basis the RunWorks calculator and hourly info from the Weather Underground start time 10:30am - yes this is what engineers do for fun - calculate :).

16:50 ; 30 seconds off for 80•f vs 60•f (it was a dry heat compared to Houston but it still slows).
16:43 ; 7 seconds for 1900' elevation vs sea level
16:31 ; 12 seconds for average 12 mph wind lined up pretty close to the straights on the track - figuring 35 second per mile slowed 25% of the race by headwinds is 27 second and 20 seconds per mile sped by tailwinds for 25% is a 15 second tailwind help - actually there were trees blocking most of the tailwind benefit :( but ignoring that reduced benefit.

So all adjusted it looks like around 16:31 or 991 seconds total - but I can't count that for my PR - still want the sub1000 seconds without adjustment :) - calculated seconds faster are not near as rewarding as those actually run.

But I still love the adjusted-VDOT calculation off that (62.2 with a 2:38 marathon equivalent).

Lesson learned for next time to better adjust my expectations to race conditions (how many times do I have to learn that one) - could have prevented the fader and maybe with even pacing finished stronger. Regrets of this mistake are relatively minor on a 5k but a very different story for a marathon.

Very cool people out there running - lots of fast masters in their adult athletic phase (like me).

Thanks for reading.



Steeeve said...


National championship experience, good show! Winner in your AG was 16:35 - results on

kayry said...

Thanks steeeve - I had not seen the official results yet.

Some observations now that you point them out:

- a 59 year old kicked my a$$ 20 seconds faster - And a 52 year old too edged me out. WOW!! Also a couple in the 45-49 were faster than all the 40-44. There sure are some fast elderly...

- Times are slow relative to runners PRs - I can find 5k racetimess for the top two runners 40-45 seconds faster than they ran here.

- First place overall was only 61 seconds in front of me - makes more sense as no one did lap me.