My first 5 mile race is over. It was cold, windy and started raining with 1.5 miles to go. When the gun went off, I was the front girl... at least I thought I was.
The first half mile was in a neighborhood and then we jumped on a paved trail. Once on the trail, I had an EXCELLENT tailwind helping to keep my pace around an 8 min/mile. Which is pretty darn fast for me. It was an out and back course, so just before the turnaround, I saw everyone in front of me... and in maybe 5th place was a chick that I didn't see at the starting line. WHAT?
Looking behind me, I saw that the next female participant was RIGHT behind me and I knew that should would pass me soon after the turnaround... since we were running straight into the wind and it was getting darker and starting to rain (stayed at about a drizzle for the race). I was working a LOT harder to keep up an 8:30 pace, and at times got down to 9 min/mile. With about a mile to go, the lady behind me passed me. And as she came around, I got right on her tail and experienced my very first draft.
HOLY CRAP! No wonder it's illegal in most racing! That made such a huge difference! I kept on her until my Garmin beeped the mileage and it scared her and she jumped out of the way. When she saw it was me, she picked up her pace and I couldn't match it.
The last half mile I came up on a 14 year old boy that was obviously a cross-country runner, and I told him that he couldn't let me beat him. He smiled and stayed right with me until we saw the finish line. He took off sprinting - I tried to match it... and then decided to go slower so that I didn't throw up.
Waiting at the finish line was my best running partner (who should have been in that race with me - and probably beating me - but she was sidelined during the week with a kidney infection). So I got a great big hug in the wind and drizzle.
To cut this short (I hate writing long race reports). I finished in 41:36 with an 8:19 min/mile pace. I won my age group and was the second female finisher. The lady that I saw before the turnaround had cut the beginning of the course in the neighborhood and they made her go back out.
I got some bling and a major award. The fun thing about the 2nd place award is that it can now be used as part of my Halloween decor!