I wasn’t planning on running this race, since I just did the Marine Corps Marathon the previous weekend, but Yuriko wanted to do the 5k, and so of course I had to run, too. And I couldn’t just do the 5K when there was a 10 mile option.

After last Sunday’s marathon, I took the whole week off, and so this was my first time lacing up my Brooks since Washington. I felt more or less recovered and ready to go. The weather was nice and cool—mid 50s, overcast. I was planning on running 8 minute miles, which is a tad slower than my best 10k pace. Goal time was 1:20.

I ate some toast with peanut butter when I woke up at 7 and drank a 5 Hour Energy. Walked Kima at 7:30; headed to the race with Yuriko at 8:00.

The race, organized by the Pagoda Pacers (of which I’m a proud, new member) started right on time at 9:00am. (The 5k started at 9:10.)

I had heard that the course was flat, but I guess I didn’t completely believe that, since the area surrounding Oley has a lot of rolling hills. But the rumor was true—a very flat course, with a few gradual inclines and declines, totaling only 274 feet of elevation, spread out over 10 miles.

The race featured volunteers at each mile marker shouting out the clock time as you passed. For those running without a watch, this was a nice way to be able to figure out their pace each mile.

There were also 4 aid stations (more than I expected for a race this distance), and so I didn’t need to carry any water.

The course is very scenic, circling around small farms. This race definitely had the most livestock of any I have run—mostly cows and chickens. Traffic was not blocked off, but there weren’t many cars, and at intersections, volunteers were helping direct vehicles to wait for runners.

During the first couple miles, my legs felt pretty tight in a few places, perhaps from the week layoff and the cool temp. I should’ve done more to warm up before the start. I was still able to stick close to my goal pace (Miles 1 and 3 were 7:49 each, whereas miles 2, 4, and 6 were just over 8:00). After I loosened up, I settled into a nice groove for miles 6, 7, and 8, which I ran in 7:43, 7:32, and 7:43 respectively. I turned into the wind and up an incline at the beginning of mile 9, which ended up being my slowest (8:11), but then I kicked it up for the last mile (7:18). This brought me in at 1:18, 2 minutes under my goal, and in 53rd place overall.

Yuriko greeted me at the finish and told me she ran her 5k in 33:29 (another PR for her!), and then ate a hot dog. In addition to hot dogs, there was soup, bagels with peanut butter and jelly, and apples. The race shirt was white with long-sleeves, and fit nicely. Not bad for a $25 race (about a $100 less than MCM).

Up next: Delaware Water Gap Fat Ass 50k

Race Website:  http://www.pagodapacers.com/races-results/races/oley-valley-country-classic.aspx

Finish Time:  1:18:08

Overall Place:  53

Gender Place:  45

Age Group Place:  12

GPS Activity:  https://www.strava.com/activities/424543817

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