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Race Report:: Berghausen 10K Pfinztal Run

I arrived at the sports club in Berghausen about an hour before the race. I collected my start number oriented myself to where the Start line and toilets were and sat down and waited for my friend John. John arrived about 15 minutes later and collected his start number.

We sat around catching up on the news of the week, then got ready to race. As we lined up at the start I thought about asking John if he wanted to try to set a new PR, but then thought better of it – this was only his second race, I thought it is better not to put any pressure on him. Besides a new PR needs to come from inside, not from outside pressure, at least this is my opinion.

Anyway as we lined up with what looked to be about 400 runners, I let John pick where he wanted to start. He settled in the middle of the crowd, but it looked like a lot more hobby runners than normal, so I figured this was okay.

When the start pistol went off we let the crowd carry us for awhile. As it thinned out John settled into a steady pace, but after a few minutes I realized he was breathing pretty heavy, so I suggested we back off just a little to conserve energy.

I missed the first kilometer marker, but we passed the 2-K marker in around 11 minutes, a pace of 5:30/K (8:51/M). I new this was much better than the first race that John ran a few weeks ago and said this to him.

The race route was a 5K out and back, with a few gentle hills between the 3K and 5K markers. John lives (and trains) in a hilly area so we actually picked up the pace a little bit after the third kilometer. It was also through here that the front runners started whizzing past us on their way back to the finish line. Somehow this was distracting and John didn’t seem to notice that we were putting in increasingly faster splits.

We came to the turnaround and passed the half-way point shortly after this. I believe our time was around 26-27 minutes, at least 4-5 minutes ahead of John’s first 10K race. I encouraged John to keep a steady pace going, but by the 6K marker we had slowed down to a 5:40/K (9:07/M) pace. I already figured out by this time that John had a personal best in the bag, as long as he kept running – the only question remaining was how much of an improvement.

As we passed the 7th, then 8th kilometer markers I kept trying to reinforce John, letting him know he was had a really good chance of setting a new record and encouraging him to keep the pace going.

Around the 8 ½ kilometer point we saw a runner laying on the ground with two people working on him. I told John to go ahead, I was going to run back a half-kilometer to where we passed some medics. As I stopped to let the two people know that I was getting help they told me it wasn’t necessary they were already on the way and I should keep running.

So I caught up to John just as we passed the 9K point. With a kilometer to go I kept inching ahead of John, trying to drag him a little faster, all the while encouraging him. He kept up a strong pace, I think my comments were probably no longer necessary. As we entered the sports stadium and the last 400 meters I told John I was going to sprint to the finish and took off to let him finish his race. I passed several people as I sprinted at top speed around the track, crossing the finish line in 56:01. John must have picked up the pace too, because he was not too far behind, in 56:26, two minutes and 28 seconds faster than his first race 3 weeks ago!

I am really pleased for John, I think he had the hunger for a better time today - I am waiting for the day when I struggle to keep up with him! As we left John pointed to a poster of a 10K race in two weeks on our way out, his words: “That’s my next race, I’m going to do that one!” Racing is a drug, what can I say!

Comments

Nice job Jack! Sounds like you were a great racing companion.

How nice to have a partner like you helping all the way to the struggle, almost waiting for him!!

Sounds like you two will have a nice time running races together in the future!

Great job helping John through.

hmmm....maybe introduce him to the world of blogging?????

Great job helping out a friend! Yep, running is addicting! : )

Now if you could just get him interested in ultras. Hmmmm...

Great job!! I bet you'll be dragging him through some marathon next year!!

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