Before the race started, I was surprised a lot of people recognized me as the guy who won the Country Music Marathon because I was wearing my defect waterproof Timberland jacket (the pockets were placed way too high, so it was super cheap) and covering my bald head with a hat. They even announced me before the race, which was kind of cool, but also somewhat embarrassing. I now felt a little self-conscious and wanted to slowly sneak into the lead.
When the gun went off, some 9 or 10 year old took off like a maniac. I let him lead for a while and passed him a couple hundred meters later and then tried to get into my groove. I was using my GPS and once I got about a mile in, it said I averaged 4:48 pace. Unfortunately, there were no mile markers on the course and since I had my auto-lap turned off, I had no idea what my splits were. When I hit two miles on the watch, I was around 4:45 average pace, so I guess that mile was around a low 4:40.
I started getting a little bit tired the last mile and was slowly losing time. With a half mile to go, I moved up to a 4:46 average and was hoping I could sneak under 15:00. But the watch climbed higher and I crossed the line in 15:24 for 3.21 miles on my GPS and a 4:48 average. On most certified courses, my GPS is usually around 3.15-3.17 and this course had a ton of turns and random running through parking lots, so it very well could have been a "real" 5k.
But regardless, I thoguht I would run faster and I felt really flat, especially on the long, gradual hills. If I went flat out, I don't think I could have broken 15. I decided to scrap the fartlek after the race and jogged around for about three miles in the cold rain. By the time I got back, they were already starting the awards ceremony, which was impressive because most races take quite a while to start that. While waiting around, I was able to meet a lot of new people, met the owner of Anytime Fitness in Gallatin, who was a really nice guy and ran into Dave Hudson, who was running the finish line services and always does a great job at that (and coaching the Brentwood Cross Country and Track Teams).
All-in-all it was a little bit of a frustrating day, but it was better than running a hard workout in the rain at home. They did a great job for a first year race and I will probably come back again next year.