Sunday, February 14, 2010

PolarBear 5k

I heard the term "Sandbagger" used in the same sentence as my name just before the race on Saturday. A bunch of us were standing around talking about what we thought we could run and I said that I'd like to go "sub 20". Somebody (can't remember who) said something like "you should, after you sandbagged us last weekend, hahaha" I remarked that I truly had no idea what I could run last weekend but that I had a pretty good idea what I could do THIS weekend. SO, I threw down the gauntlet and said "I am going to run precisely 6:26.4242! That's 20 minutes for a 5k. Actually I'm going to run 6:25's so I can be under 20" Eyebrows raised and eyes rolled and I waited to hear some of the same people who were jabbing me tell me EXACTLY what they would run. Could've heard a pin drop. See, I'm not one of those guys that gets weird about telling people where I'm at or how my training's going, some people get a little cagey on that stuff. Why? I just say, this is what I think I can do and I go out and try to do it. If I succeed, great, if I fail I'm not ashamed to have given it my best and come up short. If you want to come after me you'll know what you're going to need to do to get there and if you're running from me you'll know how hard I'm trying to catch you. So we hit the starting line and I lined up right behind Owen Lisa, Brett Helstedt and Al Bugbee. I didn't have thoughts of beating these guys but I wanted to see how long I could keep them in my sights (not long! hahaha). Sheri Piers was there too and I turned and congratulated Angela Bancroft on second place. Not sure that was very nice but it took a little pressure off her - she won the race for the women last year. I knew she'd have to run 6's or better to win today and this was her first race back after a foot injury. I didn't see another woman capable of beating Angela. The gun went off and we headed down over the hill toward Marginal Way. I was running right beside Owen and Co. but I knew they'd be taking off soon. Angela wanted to try to run sub-20 too so we stayed together through the first mile. We hit the mile 1 marker in 5:56 - whoops. Actually that was a pretty good pace given it was mostly downhill. We hit the East End Trail and I started to move ahead of Ange but she was still running great. Mike MacDonald wasn't far back either. I spotted Rob Martin up ahead and started chipping into his lead. I passed him in about the middle of mile 2. I think he was a little surprised too. Rob's an excellent runner and was laying down 6:30's. I was able to still hold a pretty good pace through mile 2 but it slipped a little due to the rollers by the treatment plant (maybe the smell too!) Mile 3 starts with a huge hill coming up form the East End Trail - boat launch area. That's a nasty hill. My heart rate hit 183 at the top and I turned onto the Eastern Prom and took a peek back to see where people were at. I sam Ange and the Mike, yelled at them and put my head down for the finish. I looked at my watch and did the math. I had a sub 20 race going but only had two minutes to get in and I felt like I was quite a ways out still. I turned up the volume one more time and hoped I could hang onto my breakfast. I hit the line in 19:45. 11th place. Good run, well executed. Funny though, not even good enough to place in my age group! Guys like Al Bugbee, Kyle Rhoades and Jeff Fisher took care of that! The big boys beat me, Sheri won the thing outright and Angela took second for the women in 20:15. She was pleased with her race. All the boys from the Speed Lab did a great job too. Kutzer ran 7:44's and Greg ran under 9's so they are improving immensely.
I met Angela's parents after the race. Great people. It made me think of my folks who NEVER missed any of my games or events. Here she is 40 years old running a 5k and Mom and Dad are out there cheering for her. That's the way I hope to be when Bailey is competing. I'll never forget what it felt like to look up in the stands and see my parents - and I don't care WHERE the game was - they were there. Good stuff. So that's the PolarBear 5k. Oh, and just to wrap things up for you.....19:45 computes to a 6:21 pace. So I guess the boys were right after all, I AM a sandbagger! hahahahahahah

Lace 'em up tight, take no prisoners.


  1. you're an animal Bob! You decide what you want to do and you go out and fight for it. Thanks again for pulling me along (I chased your yellow hat) and for taking pressure off me at the start! :) I'm Sore today! Crazy.
    Can't wait for the next race Bob!!
    Great job! congrats on your 2nd PR for the WEEK! not bad!

  2. Oh Congrats!!!! You did it! I have yet to get under 20.... That is my PLAN this summer. There is this flat 5K in Ocean Park at the end of July. You need to run it! It is an awesome PR course.
    Yep--Sheri Piers... not sure any of us are QUITE up to her just yet!!!
    Ange's parents are the best. You know--I come from a different place. My parents never came to meets etc (probably b/c I am one of five). Anyway-- I have always considered the Smalls my surrogate parents. They are ALWAYS there and always cheer you on, and always tell you they are proud. They are the best--and yes, that's the kind of parent I want to be too--even when my kids are racing in their 40s. :)

  3. Nice work, Bob. Have you posted a race calendar?

  4. I love hearing a familiar voice cheering for me. Unfortunately, I have no family in Maine but I have ALOT of friends Having support it great.

    Nice job on the sub 20. I hope to be back there again soon.