Passavant Powerade 5k/10k

Greg Bennett and Tracy Dowell at  Passavant[Results] The Passavant-Powerade 10k was held on May 31.  It’s a race that is usually well-attended by the runners from Springfield.  One reason is because of when it takes place during the season.  Many of us are coming off of an early season marathon or half-marathon and the thought of losing some of that much earned long distance endurance is painful.  A 10k is a pretty good way to utilize some of that endurance while marrying a little bit of speedwork.  The second (and biggest) reason many of us do this particular race is because it’s a points race.  The race isn’t particularly fast or scenic, but it is very challenging. 

One note to mention about the race was the timing.  Fleet feet did the timing for this year’s event and it was a system I’ve never used before.  It was a chip system except the actual chip was embedded behind the race number.  Instead of running over a mat, they had these wires draped overhead that detected the chip and your information.  At first glance it seemed pretty cool that the number itself was a chip for the timing, but in practice it was not so perfect.  The numbers themselves could not be folded or crumbled (like I like to do) in any way.  Also, with the chip attached, it made the number heavy and somewhat awkward to run with.  Never the less, the system did exactly what it was intended to do… Keep accurate time!

Once we were underway, the field quickly thinned out.  The course starts out down a busy four lane road (closed to traffic one way), under a viaduct and quickly turns onto another busy road.

There are actually two races, a 5K and a 10K.  The courses are the same until a little before the two mile mark.

I had planned to race with Greg Bennett and Mike Wendell.  We talked before the race about going through the mile at around 6:10 to 6:15.  Mike started out and gapped us a little bit right away.  He was hovering around 10-20 meters ahead of Greg and me.  Greg and I went through the mile in 6:15.  It was prefect pace, but it felt hard.  I could tell that the heat and humidity were going to be a factor for the rest of the race. 

Soon after the mile, the course turns into residential streets and winds through a neighborhood.  After the neighborhood, the two races split apart and the 10K turns right onto a main road heading out of town.  We went though the second mile in 12:32.

Again, on pace but it was way too much work for the second mile.  Just after the second mile Greg began to close the gap to Mike while maintained my pace.  I knew I’d fall apart from the heat if I went with him.  By the third mile Greg had caught him and the two of them ran together while I hovered around 20 meters back.   The stretch heading back toward town is somewhat downhill and fast.

This where Greg took off and gapped Mike.   I started to close the gap on Mike, but could only manage to get within 10 meters of him.  We stayed in that position all the way through the finish.  Greg won the race in 38:13 and Mike and I were about 45 seconds back in second and third place.  Obviously, I was very happy with my place overall, but the times seem slow for how much it hurt.

– Eric Sommer