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5ksandcabernets: Valley Ranch Pumpkin Dash: A 5K PR


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Valley Ranch Pumpkin Dash: A 5K PR

I set a 5K PR at the Valley Ranch Pumpkin Dash this morning in Irving, winning first place in my age group, runner-up Masters Champion, and 9th place overall. The event ended with me nearly getting into an argument with the race directors for a trophy.

My time for the course was 21:01, a pace of 6 minutes, 44 seconds per mile. It's a PR by 8 seconds from a run I had in 2006, and a full 39 seconds from my last 5K, a 21:40 in May. (So, I get to change the sidebar on this blog.)

I'm not surprised that I ran a PR, though I have to admit I thought I'd be 30 seconds faster or more....And maybe I was. My Garmin 305 measured the course as 3.16 miles and had me at the 5k mark in 20:44. ... The discrepancy between my Garmin and the actual mile markers threw me off a bit because as I glanced at my watch at each split, I thought I'd be under 21 minutes easily, but I didn't account for the .06 miles at the end, which is about the length of a football field.

Mile splits (according to my Garmin)

1. 6:46 (Couldnt feel my legs at the beginning. Felt like I was shot out of a cannon I was so excited. Slowed down the middle two quarters to catch my breath. Maybe slowed too much).
2. 6:37 (Settled into a good pace and started passing people)
3. 6:35 (Was just hanging on)
3.16: 1:03 (Waited too late to sprint to get under 21 minutes)

I know I can run faster. I've run every day this week since Monday, and proceeding 7 days before the 5K I had logged 52 miles, including a 20-miler last Saturday. With even 1 day of rest this week, my legs would be fresher.

The real excitement of the day came after the race. About 5 minutes after finishing, the race officials began posting the results. Even though I was disappointed with my time, I was very proud of my place. I've never won my age group in any race. A guy standing nearby said that they'd start handing out medals and recognizing the winners at 10 am. It was 8:45. I was supposed to run 12 miles today as part of my marathon training, so I figured I had enough time to get in a 7 mile run before getting my medal. And so I took off around the Valley Ranch neighborhood, which is where I owned a house for five years during my first (and only - thank God) marriage. It was weird running sub 8:30 miles by the same houses that I was running 10 minute miles 3 years ago.

The finish of my run took me back to near the end of the 5K. As I slowed down, I could hear a voice over the loudspeakers they had set up: "...And in the 70 to 75-year-olds...." Dang, I thought, they started early and have already called out my name and I was out running.

I went to one of the race officials and said, "I'm Kevin Lyons. I finished first among 40-year-olds. Can I get my medal/"

Race official, looking at a piece of paper with the results: "Hmmm, let me see. I don't see your name. What did you say your time was?"

Me: "21:01. I was 2 minutes faster than those guys you have on your list."

Race official: "Well, I'm sorry sir. This is the list we have and we've already given the 40-year-old first place plaque away."

Me: "What? That's impossible. I won that age group. My name was on the list when you guys posted the scores right after the race."

Race official: "Sir, calm down."

Me: "I'm sorry ma'am, its just that this is the first time I've ever won anything."

Race official: "Well, sir. I'm sorry, your name is not on that list And that list we put up is not official. Are you sure you turned in your race chip."

Me: "Yeah, I'm sure. My name was on the initial list."

We go back and forth and I finally ask her to direct me to the race director. She points her out and I take off to the parking lot to track her down. Rachel, the race director, turned out to be a nice lady. She listens to my sad story, takes my information down, phone number, email, bib number. Then I give her my time and my age.

Rachel: "21:01? And you are 40. Wait a minute. You were one of the overall winners, you may have been one of the top masters runners. You were on a different list."

I'd heard about "masters runners" and knew that when you got old, they entered your time and your age into this formula and came up with this new time and the "old person" with the fastest time was the Masters Champion. Every race does this because they realize that "old people" will never be as fast as "young people." Well, it turns out, an "old runner" is 40 and over.

40 AND OVER? That's me, having turned 40 in August.

So, not only did I win my age group, (The 21:01 was the time I actually ran, before it was plugged into the Masters Runners formula), but I also was runner-up Masters Champion. A 48-year-old man was the Male Masters Champion having run the 5k in 19:44.5 (Again, his real time). Had we both run the same time, the 48 year old would have still been declared the masters champion because he is older.

Anyway, back to the story. They didn't list my name among the 40-year-olds. They listed me under Masters Runners. So when the first lady was looking for my name, she was looking in my age group. Good thing Rachel, the race director, showed up and knew to look for my name under Masters Champion. Turns out, I wouldn't have got a plaque anyway. They had the wrong thing inscribed on them. So I'll get something in the mail pretty soon.

All, in all, a good day.



Blogger Laura said...

WOW, congratulations Kevin! I've never won anything at a race and am totally impressed :) Hope you had a good Cabernet after!

October 18, 2008 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Whoo-hoo! Nice job! Seriously, you took quite a bit of time off your previous PR-- and for a 5K, over 30 seconds is very impressive! I agree with Laura-- hope you celebrated (or are celebrating) with some Layer Cake or some other lovely vintner's best bottle...

October 18, 2008 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Good for you Kevin!! I am still stuck on the fact you were running 10 minute miles 3 years ago! You must have a lot of innate athletic ability that was lying dormant all that time. But still, you give me hope! I'm only 35 (only! ha!) and hope to still get faster too!

Nicole (aka: Running Bébé)

October 18, 2008 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Ewen said...

Congratulations Kevin. Definitely worth a celebration that one - first trophy, and a big PB.

Huge improvement in the past 3 years! I can see a sub-20 5k in your running future. Well done!

October 19, 2008 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

AMAZING PR!! 39 seconds is HUGE! Congrats to you, and congrats on the award! What a great race, go and celebrate!

P.S. You might have to start sharing yor secrets pretty soon - that is a huge improvement!

October 19, 2008 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Run For Life said...

Well done!! Congrats on the great time and the placement! (I find it weird that running has masters as 40 and over....)

October 19, 2008 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger rodney said...

Great run for an old dude.

October 20, 2008 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger butcept said...


I had something similar happen to me this past weekend, for my 10K race. Let me preface it as: i wasn't as fast as you but I did place 3rd in my age group. However, I did not _show up_ in my age group. After looking at the results, I was one of two people, out of a group of 236, that was not placed in division. So I should have been 3rd in the female 40-44 but instead, I am blank.

I don't know if a prize was due to a 3rd placer, but I sure want the official results to reflect this. I never placed like that and it takes away 'just-a-little-bit' of the shine away...but not too much since I made my 10K PR there too!!

Love that the 40 year olds are showing what we can do!

October 20, 2008 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Linden said...

OMG! Congrats on the win! That's awesome! And doesn't it feel more like a real serious win since you had to fight for it? :)

(Sorry this is so late--the semester has started and life's in whirlwind right now!)

October 24, 2008 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Your in elite company. Congrats!

October 31, 2008 at 9:59 PM  

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