So, I went all the way to Killeen Texas from Sealy Texas (a 3 hour drive) to walk in a 5k that promised age group awards for walkers. I saw several people I know and have raced with in Houston. There was a change of plans from the race organizers. They decided to give ‘certificates’ to the walkers…
It was really cold and windy this morning, so I only warmed up for about a mile or so and stretched before the race. The start was crowded, so I wasn’t able to get any real speed going until about 200 or 300 meters from the start. Then I started passing the slowpokes. My Garmin is set to alert me to slow down if my pace gets below 11:21mpm. Well, it alerted me all the way through the race.
Dave McGovern told me that since I wasn’t able to participate in the HR test at the racewalking clinic in Mesa that I should race a 5k, and send him my HR from about the 2 mile mark. There were a couple of pretty good sized hills starting at around 1.5 miles. My HR got up as high as 184 at the top of the second hill. I am sure my max HR I use to figure my workout zones is going to need to be adjusted higher.
Anyhow, back to the race. I was keeping another walker, Dave Gwyn, in sight to make sure I didn’t back off of my pace at all. I even planned to try and catch him at the end, but that wasn’t in my cards for the day.
I was very excited when I made the final turn and saw 33:xx on the clock, so I tried to get another gear. I crossed the timing mats at 33:54, a whole 90 seconds better than my best to date. (I am also 16 pounds lighter.)
After a while I went to look at the results. I was lumped together with the runners and my time showed correctly as 4th in my age group. The organizers gave out the awards for the runners, and then started to give out the certificates to the walkers. I was never mentioned, and neither were a couple of others who had speedy times. I am not sure, but in my age group, I think they called the winner a woman who had walked 44:xx?
I simply chose not to make a fuss, and neither did the other walker who was basically cheated out of his ‘certificate’. I just know in future to do a little more research about a race before I travel 3 hours for a 5k.