It was a warm and muggy morning for the 20th running of the Flagpole 8k at Flagpole Hill in Dallas, Texas. The race started at 7:30 and when I arrived at 6:45 it was already 77 degrees. But in Texas we have to expect that, so there was still a good crowd of racers. The race course is on city streets and has a few small hills. After about a mile on major roads it turns onto nice quiet neighborhood streets until turning back on the major road for the final mile.
I went out hard and fast, probably a little too fast, and I slowed at mile three, my slowest split. But I was able to gut it out at the end and achieved my goal of finishing at a pace below 10 minutes per mile. My time was 48:50, for a pace of 9:49 per mile. My splits were:
As I've mentioned in previous posts this race was my first race ever last year, so I've been racing for exactly one year today. How much have I improved?
Last year my time was 1:00:24, a 12:09 pace. So I cut almost 12 minutes from last year's time, and 2:20 minutes per mile off my pace! This pace is also faster than my 5k PR (10:08) and my recent 5 mile race on May 1st (also 10:08/mile). Also, I compared this race from an Age Graded Performance perspective with last year's race. This year's graded performance was 62.93% (my best ever!); last year's performance was 50.57%. So I feel like this race is a real success for me. I remember when 11:30 per mile seemed fast, and now I can see that one day I might actually get below 9:00 per mile for shorter races! I'm still no Olympian, but I'll be very happy with times like that.
Happy 4th of July, everyone, and good luck to any other racers out there!