Running under the radar
With a sport like running, it gets more difficult to keep going past mid-30s. Injuries, illnesses, life happenings, weight gain, or other priorities all take their toll. Depending where you live, masters competition into the 40s can be fairly stiff, but by late 40s the number of competitors and proportion of competitive times drops off considerably.
With nearly two seasons of 50+ age group competition, not a single loss, a bevy of course and some state records, and some top 10 national rankings (mile, 3000, 5000 m on the track and 5k and 10K on the roads), I’m lurking in a no-man’s land: an aging unknown runner. Been placing well at the local races, but not in the top 3 very often. Unseen, except for those in my age class.
Anyway, I did the 1500 and 3000 at the Alaska International Senior Games on Saturday under smoky skies and with a dozen or so friendly senior competitors. I ran 4:44.9 in the 1500, 22 seconds faster than the previous best for the meet, and 10:11.7 in the 3000, a record by 50 seconds. The 1500 seemed to go fine until the final 150 meters when I really tied up. I was at 3:46 for 1200 but locked up and ran the final 300 in 58.
The 3000 was kind of the opposite. I felt awful for the first 1600, and came through in 5:32 (83/lap). But each lap was faster than the previous, and I was sub 80 by the end. The plan is to run the Senior Games road 5K on Wednesday, on the Chena River Run course. This isn’t the fastest course, the weather hasn’t been great (80s and smoky), and I won’t have anybody to chase, so an age group personal best will be tough to get. My goal is run a personal best for the Chena course (17:27), which I'm pretty sure would be another AK Senior Games record. It will also be fun to run the course with 12 competitors instead of 1,200.