On Saturday I ran my first race of the year. It was the annual Celtic Canter 5K in Westminster, MD. This race was the kickoff event of an entire day of Irish festivities in the historic section of Westminster. Due to my work schedule, I did not get the opportunity to enjoy the festival. I ran the race and headed home to clean up.
When I saw the course layout, I was not expecting a great time. The course had a good bit of uphill running to it. The start was uphill, the bulk of the Main Street section was a gentle uphill and the last quarter of a mile on Green Street was uphill to the Start/Finish line. I decided based on my training that a sub 25 minute run would be great.
I put myself in the 8-minute mile group at the start. Here, I must make a slight gripe that if you are running this kind of race and you aren’t sure how fast you run, guess on the slow side. I spent the first couple of minutes weaving through the bulk of the 8 minute pack and most of the 7:30 pack.
I hit mile 1 in 7:35. I was quicker than expected, but I knew I had put myself in a great spot to hit my time goal as long as I didn’t fall off too much. I ran mile 2 in 7:33. Even better. I had improved my pace and only had one mile left to go. I had picked off a good number of runners by this point (one that I thoroughly enjoyed – but more on that later) and was pretty much running in as much space as I needed. I blistered mile 3 in 7:15 which is only 5 seconds off my fastest recorded mile and crossed the finish line in 23:14 according to my Garmin. When official times posted, I was a little disappointed to see my 23:14 was officially 23:29. I had bested my best 5K race time by 1:44 and that is nothing to be upset about.
Now, for the funny story of the race. At the start line, there was this really athletic dude doing all sorts of warm-ups. I’m all in favor of stretching and loosening up, but it was obvious that this guy was trying to impress or intimidate runners around him. I was delighted to run by him around mile 1 as he had stopped to walk for a bit. I finished about 3 or 4 minutes ahead of him. His finish was interesting as here he came sprinting like a mad man to pass, wait for it, a 10-11 year old girl. I hope I’m never that guy to someone else.
I finished 36th out of 708 runners and was 8th in my age group. It was an all around fun event that I would certainly recommend anyone in the area to check out next year.
Race: Celtic Canter 5K
Location: Westminster, MD
Registration Fee: $30
Swag: A long sleeve tech shirt, and a reusable shopping bag.
Timing By: Run Moore of Westminster, MD