Prime racing season came to Southwest Florida Saturday night with the best 5K you can find in the area. It was a family affair at the Edison Festival of Lights 5K. My son-in-law Vlad, step-daughter Natasha and granddaughter Masha all toed the line with me for the big race. This marked the fourth or fifth time I've run this twilight affair that follows a crowd filled parade route through the streets of Fort Myers.
The only problem with this gem of a 5K is a crowded start and you better be able to withstand the smell of barbeque along the entire race course. A Kenyan won the men's race barely dipping under 14 minutes, which gives you an idea of the swift nature of this out and back race. When I first moved her I could run it under 21 minutes. Last night I ran just a few ticks over 24 minutes, a real disappointment.
Much to my surprise I finished 4th in my age group, good enough to take home a trophy. In all the years when I could still run relatively fast I usually finished right outside the top 5. Another surprise came from the son-in-law, who ran a personal best of 20:59. It was a PR by about 90 seconds.
I asked Vlad, who just turned 40, two months ago, when he was running, because I never see him run. He confessed that he was sneaking out after I leave for work and packing on the miles since the beginning of the year. He managed to finished 2nd in his age group. He was incredibly happy as we all were.
Just a couple of weeks before I had run another 5K where I somehow managed to win my age group running under 24 minutes. I'm beginning to get some longer runs in which should help my endurance. Now, I've just got to convince myself to do some "safe" speedwork. I've gone more than a year without getting injured. I want to keep it that way.