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Rhythm and Roots 5K, Bristol VA/TN<br>
USATF # VA06005MS<br>
9/15/07 8:00am<br><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i5.tinypic.com/4yg1k40.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br>
To find a good, flat 5k course in this area, you’ll need 2 states.<br><br>
The Rhythm and Roots Festival is a relatively new event to celebrate Bristol’s claim to the birthplace of country music. Sound stages were set up in the downtown section for a weekend of country music and laid back down home fun. One was directly in front of the Burger Bar, where Hank Williams allegedly ate his last hamburger.<br>
(Stock photo)<br><img alt="" src="http://i1.tinypic.com/5x3mcjl.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br>
Not being a big fan of the genre, I’ve never attended though I appreciate the more humorous offerings. The Austin Lounge Lizards have a few tunes I like. Their cover of Pink Floyd’s Brain Damage is a boomer crowd pleaser. Since the State of Franklin Track Club hosts a 5k run and 2 mile with the event, on an almost flat course, it sounded like a good opportunity to hit my 2007 5k goal of 25:45.<br>
I live about a 30 min drive from the course and gave myself a generous 5am wakeup to get the generator going. For breakfast I drank a doubleshot and some water, 2 slices of toast with butter and a local honey, and a few black walnut kernels. A nice 55F morning with some fading drizzle portends Ideal Running Conditions. I head off in darkness mostly along the path on my typical morning commute and arrive at 6:45. Warm up consists of walking the first mile of the course, continuing with a mile or so jog that loops back to the registration area to take care of that detail. I stretch and meander for a good while, then do another mile with a few easy pickups toward the end. The race has drawn about 160+ runners this year up from about 100 from last year. I thought this would lead to a delayed start, but it was only about 5 minutes. I lined up about mid pack with the hope of moving up. So with a shout we were off. After 100M headed south we crossed State St. The west bound lane is in VA the eastbound in TN.<br>
I’m wearing my Garmin set to one K auto laps in metric mode, which is new for me, but I’m thinking a little finer resolution seems more appropriate for a short distance race. My first 5K about 6 weeks ago was hot and hilly on a weak ankle and I managed about 27:3x, But today’s conditions suggest I could do substantially better than my goal. 5m/k would yield a 25:00 finish, so the arithmetic is easy at least. I’m figure to do at least one mid 4m/k to start and give up as little as I can to make it over the only real hill. The hill is 70’ of elevation over a .25 mile stretch starting close to the 3K start mark. Then 2.5k of pacing around 5m/k and gradually pick it up in the last K.<br>
By the middle of the first K, the pack has loosened and I’ve caught my pace partners. Generally passing more than being passed, I held my own on the hill. But by the middle of the 3rd K I’m slacking some --still hanging to the rear of the front half with a following gap as we cross back into VA. In the 4th K some of my pacing targets are also slacking and fade enough for me to politely pass. A hairpin left at the beginning of K5 signals its time to go. I have good intentions and pick the pace up a little, but I was hoping for a little more. I round the final corner onto State St down the middle, right foot TN left foot VA, with 400M to go, there are only a couple of targets within reach. I pass and try to hang on feeling that second piece of toast may not make it. In the last two steps, I’m caught by a 20 something female with a blonde ponytail I didn’t even remember. She was sprinting; I was just hanging on. I congratulated her after I caught my breath. Last time I saw on the clock was 24:34. I probably hit 24:36. --4:55 min/k or 7:55 mim/m<br>
Official results won’t be available for a couple of weeks. It was a bib-less race. They just handed you a card in the chute to fill out and drop in your AG basket. Results will be online in a couple of weeks. A friend down the street and two of her co-workers she introduced me to all got 3rd AG awards. Only a few broke 20, including 4th OA who was under 15 years old I think. I had a lot of fun, made some friends, meet my soft (25:39) and hard goals (5m/k) and got a long sleeve cotton tee.<br>
I’ll skip the second piece of toast next time. New 5k goal is sub 23:00. Next race- 15M Bays Mt Trail Run in Kingsport, TN next Saturday @9:00am.<br>
Thanks for reading.<br>
JJJ<br><br>
 

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Great race! That was a heck of an improvement from your last 5K. That lapping by kilometers is interesting; I might try that one of these days (I only have one 5K coming up and I haven't been training for it, so I doubt it would warrant such a thing).<br><br>
My only advice to you is more line breaks in your race reports. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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