Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Newton Hill 5K Race Report!

Hey Worcester!  Do you know where Newton Hill is?

It's in Elm Park, behind Doherty High School, and it's a big old hill.  There's a halfway decent disc golf course there, in case you didn't know.  The Central Mass Striders and the Friends of Newton Hill run a 5K series on Tuesday nights at 6:30 in August.  For the past two years, every day, twice a day, my husband and I would drive past a sign advertising the event on the way to and from daycare.  And I always said,  "I want to do that race!"  But I always forgot. 

Today, my husband remembered for me while we were at a small party at work.  I wasn't sure I could do it.  My daughter had a piano lesson from 5:30 to 6:00.  It was already 5:00, and I was still in my work clothes, we didn't even have the kids picked up yet, and the piano lesson was a couple of towns away.   Plus, I had a belly full of brie and champagne (rough life, I know).  I was feeling bold, so I figured I'd at least try to make it.  On the way to pick up the kids, he slowed the car down a few blocks from home and let me out to run back to the house, get changed, and get the piano books together. 

We made it to piano lesson, then I dropped my daughter off at home and headed to the race.  I had to run up to the tent to register, but on the plus side,  I got a decent warm-up.  I forgot my watch, though.  Oh well.

What a fun course!  Newton hill park isn't that big - apparently, the perimeter is only 3/4 of a mile around.  In order to have a 5K there, obviously, the course has to loop around and climb Newton Hill a few times.  Newton Hill has about a 200 foot elevation change, so that's somewhere near around 500 feet of climbing in a 5K. 

There were just over 40 people racing, and I got started near the middle of the pack.  There was one woman ahead of me, and she appeared to be a teenager.  About a half a mile in, another woman shot past me, but somewhere before the halfway point, I saw her jogging slowly back the wrong way.  I don't know what happened to her, but it meant I was the second woman!

I leap frogged with a handful of guys for the rest of the race.  I'm a very fast downhill runner, so I was able to get to the front of us every time we went down, but they'd keep passing me on the uphills.

Just a warning that the last 20 yards of this course is extremely steep and rocky!  I passed two guys, and tried to catch a third, but he came in a few seconds ahead of me.  My final time was 26:30.  The woman that beat me was indeed a teenager, so I won my age group (20 to 39) and took home a Friends of Newton Hill Pint Glass.  Yay!