As we mentioned previously, we spent the majority of Friday car shopping so we were ready for race weekend to begin!
Saturday was a busy day starting with the 5K. Last year we both ran the 5K as a shakeout for the Half Marathon, but because of logistics this year only Travis ran.
Packet pickup was only available in the morning before the race began. It was quick and easy – packets at one table and shirts at another.
Once Travis was all set with his packet we decided to hang out outside near the finish line until it was time for Travis to head to the start, which was around the corner.
I (Travis) had decided the night before that I would race the 5k in hopes of a top-10 finish and a new PR. It retrospect, it probably wasn’t the brightest decision given the conditions for the marathon the following day. However, I have been trying to break my PR from last season and break into the 18 minute range while doing so, and thought Buffalo gave me the perfect chance given the favorable course profile.
I lined up close to the front and ran the first mile in a large pack of runners. After the first mile, things began to thin out and my mission was to methodically pass one person at a time to move up. This backfired when 2.9 miles in, I was passed. I didn’t like being passed and stayed close, able to sprint to the finish passing the same person only steps before the line.
Although I came up short on a new PR, I managed to finish 10th overall and second in my age group with a 19:22.6 – good for a 6:15 pace with the following splits:
Mile 1. 6:12.94
Mile 2. 6:16.77
Mile 3. 6:19.27
I was successful in one of two goals and received an engraved medal for my efforts.
After the 5K we headed back into the convention center so Travis could grab some food and to wait for the awards ceremony. While we were waiting, I ran downstairs and picked up Parker’s bib for the kids race. This is one of our favorite parts of the weekend. The kids races are free and Parker loves races that he can participate in as well!
Because Parker moved up an age division this year, he would have to run his race alone, so Travis just went with to run along the outside of the course just to make sure nothing happened. Good thing because Parker was leading the way and went down the wrong finishing chute. As a result, he finished last but loved every minute of the attention and it provided us with a great chance to snap a picture.
Following the Kids Races we finally had a chance to visit the Expo. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the events this year, we missed the chance to listen to Bart Yasso speak but we were able to speak with him for a few minutes afterwards and he truly is such a pleasant and polite person. We very briefly shared our story about Parker and he listened and encouraged us to keep getting him involved in running. Later that night, Bart broke our phones when he tweeted this image:
If you never had a chance to meet Bart Yasso, we would highly recommend it. The rest of the morning was spent wandering the expo and making a few small purchases. The expo for Buffalo isn’t huge and is made up of booths for other local races with some businesses as well. I stopped at the Ragnar booth for a little bit and was able to check out the course profiles for the legs that I will be running in September. Come to find out that what I thought was a relatively “easy” leg involves a 6 mile portion that runs straight up a mountain for 3 miles and comes with its own medal. Fun!
We concluded our day by picking up family at the airport across the street from our hotel and enjoying a nice dinner out in Buffalo. Next up Race Day!