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Red Hills Festival 5K Race Recap

Red Hills Festival 5K Results: 17:26 for 1st overall person & female, $200
3.5 mile w/u, 5k road race, 6 mile c/d

My goal for this race was to better my 5K road race PR from 5 years ago...if at all possible. Last year I ran 17:48 here, so if I did not run faster than that something was wrong with me.

After getting a call Friday afternoon from the race director of Cotton Row, I learned that my friend Tiffany (McWilliams-Dudley) had dropped out of Monday's race. I text her asking what was up and she informed me that she had to work. Originally I had thought about running the Louisville 5K AND Cotton Row in hopes that I could score two road PRs in one weekend. When she asked about Louisville I was sold, knowing Tiffany would show gave me a much better chance at a road PR.

Now Tiffany has only been training 9 weeks, BUT when your running background includes 3 NCAA titles and a former NCAA record in the outdoor doesn't take long to post some respectable times. Besides, her 5k road PR is something like 16:30 on a course I know is measured long.

Tiffany and I got to Louisville about the same time and ran the course as part of our warm-up. Last year running this race (and the course an additional 3 times as part of my cool-down) I remember the first mile being slightly down hill, the middle mile flat, and the last mile up hill. Tiffany told me she was looking to try and run 5:40 pace. I figured that was actually going to end up being a 5:30.

The race started around 8:00am and immediately Tiffany and I saw ourselves in 2nd and 3rd overall. The person leading is famous for going out really hard the first 500m, so we tucked in before passing him around the 1km mark. Now I know $200 is not a lot of money, but I really thought we would at least have a few more males up front pushing us along. Instead, Tiffany and I were already destined for 1 and 2 less than 5 minutes into the race. It was going to be lonely.
Tiffany and I after the race

Mile 1: 5:32
I was pleased with myself for staying relaxed early. I really felt like I could run another 2 miles at this pace or faster. I thought of two scenarios, 1.) I save what I have and run the last mile as hard as I possibly can and try to guarantee the win, 2.) Test the second mile and if I fall a part, work hard with Tiffany when she passes me in hopes that I can salvage the race. I chose scenario #2.

Mile 2: 5:28
I went through 2 miles in 11:00. For a road race, that was just fine. I really wanted to be around 10:55 but I had been alone from the first mile, not a single sound behind me and only a cop car out front. I started to hurt pretty bad right here. I kept trying to get my legs to turn over but I knew I was slowing down heading into the uphill section of the race.

Mile 3: 6:04, I then let out a baby kick to get back on it in the final straight.
Even though this mile is uphill, I really had a hard time fighting by myself. I tried everything to get my legs to turn over but I was going into survival mode. Last year, I battled it out with a male in the final mile. This year, I was doing all the battling myself and failing.
Me and the 1st place male.
I turned the corner back unto the main drag of town and saw the finish line up head. I looked down at my watch and realized, not only was I going to PR, but I was going to win the whole thing. I tried kicking it in as best I could before crossing the line. Tiffany followed just shortly after in 18:00. The first male was 7 seconds behind her in 18:07.

We ran almost another hour taking pictures for RodsRacers, joining the wee ones in the fun run, and discussing our race plans. Tiffany has registered for the Chicago Marathon, but to get into the Elite Development field, she has to run 1:21 for the half. I don't think the question is IF she will do it, I think the question is more when and what race. If anyone has any recommendations, let me know. She needs to run it before September to be eligible.

 All in all, it was a good morning. Well worth the small fortune I paid for a baby sitter to watch Maddy.

What to do next? Not really sure. I'm taking a few weeks off or racing and focus on getting my miles more consistent. Oh, and the 10K PR is on the back burner for now. There is always another race...another year even.



Congratulations!!! Your splits are amazing and crazy fast! Way to go :)
SupermomE12 said…
Congrats!! Great job!! You are so fast. Loved the race report. :)
Jenn said…
Nice job!!! Wicked:)
inspirunning said…
Congrats, that's so exciting! $200 is a lot compared to the 0 they give out around Cleveland! And that's a HUGE trophy!
Vermont Cover Bridges Half Marathon is a certified downhill course. Registration is closed but she might be able to get in through the RD. Race is in June:)
Vicky Cook said…
You are the runner I dream of being! Well done, it's nice when all that hard work pays off :)
Vicky Cook said…
Wow, you are the runner I dream of being! Well done, nice when all that hard work you put in pays off :)
Lize Brittin said…
Wow! Awesome racing day for the ladies! Meggan, you are running so well right now. It's crazy cool to read your race reports. :)
Joe MacGown said…
Great race Meggan! congrats to both you and Tiffany!
Wow, congrats to you! You make those paces sound easy- I'm just amazed! Great race report!
Wendy said…
Wow. Congrats!
Jesse Armijo said…
Congrats on the Win! And that's very cool that you know Tiffany so well, I am a big fan of her! You guys should look into the RnR Virginia Beach Half... Good Luck!

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