Off Road Ramble Shamrock Run 5K – Race Report

Preparing for my first race as part of Fleet Feet Aptos Race Team, prepping my kit, picking out my race shoes (non-Mizuno), I was quite nervous! Sara and I were volunteering prior to the race so it was an early morning with some warm coffee. The race was slated to start at 9:00 AM and we were finally able to step away from our volunteering position at 8:40 AM for a warm-up. Without the normal sprints as a warm up, a simple jog would have to suffice.

Lining up at the front of the starting line to ensure I get a step on the field so I wouldn’t have to waste energy weaving. BOOM!! And off we go…

The youngsters from Watsonville, that this race was supporting, sprinted out front while the rest of us got a good jump on the majority of the field. Within 15-20 seconds the kids dropped back and a lead pack started to form. Jeff Soares began creeping ahead of us with his no-nonsense mentality. I knew he was running the 10k and it’d be in under 40 min. Next was Jeff Kirk and he slowly passed me on the first major downhill. Peter Fish, Fleet Feet Race Team Coach, was behind me as we formed the top four in the field.

As we ran on the deck over Lake Pinto, I could feel Peter analyzing my stride. “You need to shorten your stride. Quicken your turnover.” This is an item that I’ve been working on for quite some time and will continue to work on this year.

Up and over a hill and then come the stairs. Maybe 30 feet of stairs and then immediately to another hill. I knew I went out too fast and wouldn’t be able to keep this pace. Suddenly, my watch beeps and rings in Mile 1 – 6:38. Waaaaayyyyyyyy too fast for my first mile, especially with hills AND stairs.

Waiting for the bonk to come around, I was just trying to keep my pace around 7:15. Around mile 1.7 it hit pretty hard. We had some single track where was in my happy place and could push it. A few near wrong turns and I was running towards the bag-piper and could feel I was coming close to the end. A right turn and then….hey! There’s the finish!

Pumping my arms pretty hard up the final hill I pushed it until I was over the finish. Wow! That hurt.


Final distance of 3.02 in 22:08. 2nd place overall and 1st place in my age group. Sara rocked the race as well with a final time of 24:06. 4th place overall!!!!!

Round up – Walking into this race hoping for a PR and an under-20 5k time, I quickly discovered that this isn’t what a racer would call a fast course. Nonetheless, I still PR’d, but I won’t consider it official because the course was only 3.02 miles, so not a full 5k.

Still looking for that quick race where I can keep a solid 6:38 pace for a full 3.1 miles!

#BioSkin recovery sleeves after this trail run…for sure!