The Buchenwaldlauf in Welver was a really great family event. The childrens races started fairly early in the afternoon with 400, 800, 1k, & 1500m events depending on age group run on an athletics track. The longer distances of 5k and 10k were later in the afternoon and run over a mix of street and forest trail, but unusually for events here in germany they were open for children as well.
My Children entered the races in their age groups, run on the track, they didnt want to try the longer distance this time.
The first up was my Oldest over 1km. The number of entrants in the older secondary ages school kids was pretty low so it was combined 'schuller A & B' so 12-16yo's...there were 10 runners in total. He started off strong with a good first 400m and was sitting in 3rd place overall, The runners in front stretched out their lead on the second 400 and He wasnt able to maintain his pace, In the final 200m he was passed by a group of runners coming home strong, he managed to react and pulled back one of them before crossing the line in 6th place overall with a time of 4:05. As allways I am extremly proud that he is willing to run these races and that he continues to give it his all regardless of where he currently is.
Next up was my youngest over 800m, the field of 88 starters in his age group was broken up into 4 starts. 'Schuller D' are the 7-8yo's, and these races start off at a virtual sprint and are run as a race of attrition to see who can hold the pace for as long as possible, there is no steady pacing in these events. His start was no differnt, and he sprinted into 2nd place over the first 100m. the first 400m was very fast in his heat, and he was still holding onto 3rd place, He lost one more place in the second 400 to come home 4th in his start group. He seemed dissapointed, but the overall results showed that he was 5th fastest with a time of 3:11, had he run in any other heat he would have likely won or at the least have come second.
My Daughter was third to race, similarly over 800m, in her races the field of 38 was split into 3 starts. 'Schullerin C' are 9-10yo's, and these are not very different from the younger ones, the kids that run regularly set the pace at the start and the 'fun' runners try and stay with them for as long as possible. My daughter started off fairly slowly, she had told me she wanted to have a fast second lap. she fairly quickly fell back to the last 1/4 of the field over the first 400m, true to her word she speed up in the second 400 and passed quite a few of the other runners to come home in the middle of the field. In the overall results she was similarly bang in the middle 10th girl from 21 with a time of 3:30.
I had signed up for the 10k, but on the day a combination of the high heat and not wanting to have to make my kids wait around too long for me to start and then finish my race i switched to the earlier 5k race. Coming into this event Ive had no speed training and have only had a few days back runnig since recovering from an injury. Originally id been planning to attack the 20min mark for the 5k in May, I have another 5k in a weeks time and was going to use this as a gauge and as race prep. In light of the injury i decided not to push full out. The Race with its 99 entrants started with a lap of the track, the first curve i was held out in the 2nd lane but was able to move into the first lane on the second curve. the pace over the first 400 was about the 3:50 mark, way to fast to hold throughout the race, but ive been learning about getting a good position earlier on in the race.
Once we were out of the stadium, i decided to sit on the shoulder of the woman running in second place. I figured that she would help me to run a consistent pace. The next part of the course was through a Forest over a well groomed bike path, the best part was that it was shady and cool, just before km 2 however we emerged into the fields and the full sun. Almost instantly i could feel my temperature starting to rise, after about 400m the woman had started to slow and i gently eased passed her. I reached the turn around and was surprised that i wasnt all that far behind the leading runners.
I decided to try and keep the pace steady while i was still in the sun, I managed to pull back a couple of guys that were struggling with the heat, putting on a little burst as i went past each one to ensure that they didnt try and tuck in behind me. Then we were back into the forest. I picked up the effort level, if not the pace, I was starting to close down the gap on the guy running infront of me, but not nearly fast enough, as we entered the forest he had 40m and it was still a good 20m when we emerged from the forest. The race head into the final stretch back into the stadium and then a final loop of the track before the finish line. over the last 200m i was shouted on by my youngest screaming 'end spurt papa' as he tried to run beside me. I knew i wasnt going to catch the guy in front but did manage to closed it down to about 5m, my official finishing time was 20:53 my garmin reports a 20:49 for a 17th place overall and 5th in my age group. Fastest time was 18:13 which attests to the warm conditions we faced.
I have to say i really enjoyed running the shorter race distance and although i held back a little out of respect for my recovering heel the race time was surprisingly good, Given that i havent run over 5k since the first race i entered almost a year ago, a new PB was guaranteed, and with my 'A' 5k race still a week away and the projected weather report showing cooler conditions I an now really looking foward to seeing what i can achieve then.
Here's the tale of the Garmin.