Today I ran another race, the Thomas G Labrecque 4 mile. The weather was nice, a sunny 41 degrees. But the crowd. Oh, the crowd.
There were 5,368 runners in today's race. That means it took me six minutes just to get to the start line alone. Which I can handle, that is no biggie. What blew me away is how much the crowds affected my race.
First of all I was going for another personal best in this race. I wanted to beat my 9:51 per mile average that I got a couple of weeks ago. Out of the gate there were a lot of slow people in front of me, and I didn't try to pass too aggressively. Until I finished the first mile in twelve minutes. TWELVE MINUTES!!??!! That kicked my passing mode into high gear.
Secondly, I didn't realize this until literally half way through; I never got a chance to appreciate the scenery. Normally when I run a race I make a conscious effort to look around, appreciate central park in its full nature filled glory. Especially now while in spring when trees and flowers are in bloom, it is a fabulous sight. Thing is I could not take the time as I was too busy trying to navigate my way around the other runners.
I don't know if these problems were really because of the quantity of runners or the quality. When you get in line before the start, there are markers for you to line up against based on your expected run speed. This way passing is minimized. It seems that in this race there was a large number of people who just lined up as close to the start as they could with no regard to their run time. Bastards.
In spite of this all, the race was still awesome. I kicked it into high gear and finished with yet another personal best, averaging a 9:33 minute mile. All I have to do is keep or improve upon that time for my 10K in May and I am on my way to my goal marathon time!
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