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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kankakee Winterfest 5k Race Results

First of all, I'll deal with the bad news. My goal was to use the Winterfest 5k to try to qualify for a seeded start position at the half-marathon in Indianapolis. That didn't happen. Now I'll step through the race and give y'all the good news at the end. We drove up to Kankakee this morning (in a car borrowed at the last minute from friends after the water pump in ours went to the great junkyard in the sky). I'd been watching the weather forecast pretty closely all weekend, since I knew it was going to be super cold and windy, and wanted some idea of how cold it was going to be. I discovered first-hand how cold it was while warming up (as much as one can when it's this cold).
Gear required for a race @ -14F wind chill(click for annotations on specific gear)
When we got there, it was 6.8F, with 23MPH winds from the WNW. That works out to -14F/-26C wind chill (the North Pole Marathon lists average wind chill in 2003, 2004, and 2006 of -29C, -25C, and -10C, respectively), and a couple somewhat uncomfortable sections of a roughly rectangular 2 lap course.

And they're off!
A little over 100 runners started at promptly 1pm - I ran this race last year, setting my 5k PR of 23:20.1. The course was almost identical this year, except they re-routed the finish very slightly so the chute put us directly into a nice toasty warm building to quickly take the chill off after we finished.

I got a good start, a little slower than my goal pace, but not that far off. Turning the first corner into the wind, I suddenly felt like I was running through molasses. The course took us in and out of the wind several times, but due to the way the race was laid out and the direction of the wind, we ended up running into a roughly 25MPH headwind for almost all of one section of the course, and into that same wind as a cross/headwind for another section of the course. Since it was a 2 lap course, we got to play in the wind in each of those sections twice!

Crossing the finish line - official finish time of 23:04.9
My dream goal was to finish in less than 20:30, which would qualify me for the #2 seeded start corral at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. I ended up finishing in 23:04.9, shaving more than :15 off my 5k PR (and doing it in very cold and windy circumstances - last year when I ran this race, it was 30F, with 14MPH wind, for a balmy wind chill of 19F)

Ow - my aching everything
Waiting for me at the finish - a loving spouse (thanks, sweetie!), a space blanket (thanks, Chicago Marathon!), and a recovery beverage (thanks, protein powder, Cell-Tech, and glutamine!)

Relaxing before my award
I got changed into warm and dry clothing, and decided to relax a bit and stay for the awards ceremony, where I discovered several things:
  1. I finished 24th out of 106 finishers (placing me very nicely in the top 25%). Last year, I finished 64th out of 179 finisher, which didn't even get me into the top third.
  2. I placed 2nd in the Male 30-34 age group, for my first age group award!
    First age group award that I've gotten
  3. The age group award has a polar bear on it - a good sign for the North Pole Marathon contest, perhaps?

(Note - if you'd like to leave a supporting statement on my North Pole Marathon contest entry, they're still accepting testimonials at:

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bring. it. on.

Predicted conditions in Kankakee at the start of the 5k:
  • 4F temperature
  • 19MPH wind from the WNW (curently, the wind there is 16MPH, gusting to 25MPH)
That'll result in wind chill of -16F/-27C.

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©2007 Shea Nangle