Derek Tingle - Summer Solstice 5K

I think I've mentioned before that I really don't like 5k's.  I do enjoy this race though.  It's tough but it has a great atmosphere and the Knoxville Track Club does a stellar job putting it on.  The race itself is held on a farm and is a cross country style race with the race being held on trimmed fields with some singletrack and a little gravel for giggles.  It's a neat venue and a challenging race.

I knew going into the race that I would be hard pressed to land on the podium.  This was an afterthought race for me and I did it as a speed workout preceded by a bike interval session.  Needless to say I was going in on tired legs.  

When I arrived at the race, the air was heavy and hot.  I lined up near the front.  I planned to try and hold on to lead group as long as possible then settle into a hard tempo pace and finish as strong as possible.  At the gun we took off.  I was running well and the group was pacing around 6:30-6:45.  I knew I couldn't hold that pace for long.  Thankfully as the terrain got rougher everything settled down a bit.  The leaders took off and stayed away, no surprise, but I was running very strong around a group of very tallented runners.  I paced with my buddy David Carrell from Team Health Shoppe Zen Evo.  I knew something had to be off with him since he's normally a much faster runner than I.  Seems a pub crawl and Mexican food for lunch might have had a hand in me being able to keep pace with him.  Still, I'll take that how I can get it!  

As the race unfolded, I felt very comfortable being uncomfortable.  I could tell that the work I had been doing in preparation for Xterra and racing off road was helping my speed.  I had a good race but with a stacked field and 10 year Age Groups I was relegated to 7th place in the 30-39 field.  Not a great result on the surface but all things considered, I think this was a good race for me and a great workout in my build toward Xterra success.