Every summer for the last two decades, the South Jersey Athletic Club has been hosting a "No Frills Just Thrills" race series down at the Cooper River. Registration is $5 for non-members, $3 for members, and free for students. The money goes to pint glasses for awards and not much else, leaving more room for the simple thrill of racing.
There are six races over the course of the summer, each one a little different than the last. Tonight was a one lap race (3.65 miles), starting and finishing at the Cooper River track.
Last year's stats:
6th overall (75 runners)
2nd in my age group
This year's stats:
6th overall (113 runners)
3rd in my age group
It's difficult racing in the evening after a full day of work, and it's difficult racing in the summer when heat and humidity are high, so I'm happy I managed a 6:08 pace over 3.65 miles. In a regular 5k, I would have finished in 19:01 with that pace, so not too shabby.
I ran like I normally do in smaller races. I ran by feel rather than wearing a Garmin, started at my own pace and tried to pick off runners once I reached the halfway point. This worked pretty well as no one passed me, and I managed to outkick a few in the final half mile. Even though no one was near me - behind or in front - I still tried to sprint the homestretch, then stumbled through the finishers' chute while clumsily grabbing at my bib to hand in to the race director.
|Moments after finishing|
I did a cool down loop around the track and then sat by the finish line clapping as people came in. I once again won a pint glass "trophy," bringing my total to 4.
It was a great night for racing, and a perfect way to kick off the summer.