Color in Nevada City
It's always nice to set a goal, work hard towards it, then attain it. Even surpass it. This year's goal at Run Through the Colors 5k in Nevada City was to win a beautiful Sierra Club Wilderness Calendar. Calendars go to the top 2 finishers in each 10 year age group. This would be my 3rd calendar in 3 years. My secondary goal was to beat my time from 2005 of 25:31. I don't count my time from last year (27:15) because I had just had a baby a few months before and hadn't done much training (amazing I was able to come in first).
Early morning set up
My husband was at work at the fire station so I took the girls to a friend's house just up the road from the race start about 7:30. Kim has 2 boys the same age as my girls so it's always a treat to get them all together. Being so early in the morning they got to stay in their pj's which always makes the visit even more special.
Near the start
I headed down to Pioneer Park for check-in, got my number and t-shirt, and started warming up. The park is in a low part of town so it was COLD, close to 32 degrees. Surprisingly, it warmed up quickly when I started jogging. We all lined up at 8:30, the whistle blew, and we were off. The normal suspects were there, Peter Lubbers, Chris Badolato, Larry Defeyter, Sara Freitas, Kristin Koch, and the Boutte family. Normally I line up mid-pack, slowly work my way up a few places, and pretty much stay in my own little world during the race and hope for the best. Because I wanted a good finish this time, I really paid attention to the runners around me. I started close to the front and sprinted off the line with the front runners. Within the first mile you have to climb Nevada Street. It's a tough climb, especially so early in the race. Last year I walked it while a dad pushing a jogging stroller ran past me. This year I reached the bottom and could still see the lead runners only halfway up the hill. I was able to run "strongly" up the hill (I don't think hills will ever be my strong suit) and keep a good pace over the top. The Boutte sisters (one is under 12, the other slightly older) and Kristin Koch were just ahead. They always seem to be just ahead of me and I've never been able to catch them. The 4 of us finished 1-4 at Habitat for Humanity 5K in June so I was in familiar company. After about a mile the 5k and 10k courses split so I was able to get a better idea of who my competition was and it remained the Boutte's and Kristin (even tho they weren't in my age group they're good to pace off of)
This is a fairly hilly course, if you're not climbing, you're usually descending. The colors are spectacular this year, I felt good through-out the race and before I knew it, I was on the big downhill on Broad St. Just a bit more climbing to the park and back to the finish. The Boutte's finished 1st and 3rd (22:36 and 22:39), Kristin got 4th (23:13) and I finished 5th in 23:43, a 5k personal best which is surprising considering the course. (Those finishes are for females, I finished 18th over-all).
Along the course, after the big hill
After the race I drove up to Kim's to pick up the girls (thank you so much Kim) and returned to the park in time to visit with new friends, partake of the delicious treats, and enjoy the award ceremony. Turns out I finished 1st in my age group so I was happy. One goal accomplished. Breaking 24 minutes on a hilly 5k was something I never expected so goal #2 accomplished. Except for my husband not being able to be there, it was a wonderful morning.
Caitlyn, with pink frosting on her nose from cupcake (see below)
Just another beautiful sight
Peter Lubbers decided to run the 5k instead of the 10k, going after Grand Prix points and finished 3rd overall in 20:45 behind Justin and Jeff Boutte (yes, those Boutte's). Chris Badolato won the 10K in 35:03 and Larry Defeyter came in 3rd in 39:28. Gordy Ainsleigh was a surprise visitor running the 10k in 48:48 finishing first in his age group, 60-69. Turns out he lived in Nevada City until he was 14 and now plans his October vacation around Run Through the Colors because he missed running this race. It was a real pleasure meeting and talking with him.
Chris Badolato (L), Larry Defeyter
Gordy Ainsleigh (L), Me, Peter Lubbers
The pictures I got of the sights along the course were taken before and after the race (hence, no runners in them) because I was a little too busy during the race to take pictures.
Looking up Broad St (we ran down this)
Golden Center Freeway
Old Firehouse Museum
So all in all, the morning went well. Came home and had a Peter Lubbers Special, pancake brunch with my girls. Afternoon was going great, feet up on the couch, kids playing, then......Caitlyn throws up numerous times all over the couch and floor. Bright pink.