Race #29 – CPCC Skyline Run 5k – Charlotte NC – 04/25/09
The CPCC Skyline Run, which begins and ends at the campus of Central Piedmont Community College, is one of Charlotte’s premier 5k races and is the second race in the Run for Your Life Grand Prix series. This year’s race was held in conjunction with the Festival on the Green, which is an arts festival sponsored by CPCC. The race was the first thing on the agenda and it was over before the arts festival really got started, but the race itself was plenty festive on its own and it was a magnificent day for about a thousand runners (843 finishers) to bring nearby traffic to a screeching halt.
The course was pleasant, with most of the small hills out of the way in the first mile. The race started on a small street next to Memorial Stadium and the thought crossed my mind that I would surely be trampled if I happened to trip near the beginning because there was really no place to go as I was standing next to the stadium wall. No worries though. Everything started out smoothly and it seemed like just a minute before everybody had plenty of elbow room, at least where I was at.
I’m tapering for next weekend’s New Jersey Marathon so I was rarin’ to go. About a a half mile into the race I spotted Jerry Sofley up ahead, who had helped me settle into a nice pace last week. I caught up with him somewhere along the line (I forget where) and for the rest of the race I knew he (and a few hundred other people) were nipping at my heels so I just kept going. I’m still a big fan of the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run method and will definitely use it in next week’s marathon, but I find myself taking fewer (if any) walk breaks lately in the 5k races. I did take one in last week’s race but I decided I’d run with no walk breaks at all today and it paid off. I got my fourth 5k PR in a row — this time 21:41 — and third place in my age division. It was my first 5k under 22 minutes (my apologies to Ken from Asheville). I also managed to get negative splits each mile, which I have rarely done…
Mile 1 — 7:05
Mile 2 — 6:57
Mile 3 — 6:40
One of the highlights of this race since its inception is the T-shirt. Every year there is a design contest among the CPCC Advertising Design majors and the winner’s design is featured on the shirt. This year’s shirt is nice but looking at the designs over the years (click here to see the designs), seems like the ones back in the 1990s were cooler looking.
After the race, the food was kind of basic but it was fine. The age group awards were once again glasses, but much nicer ones than we’ve seen lately (I still prefer a trophy or medal), and the awards for the top overall winners (3 male, 3 female, and team awards) were really great including large, nicely framed photos of the Charlotte Skyline.
We always meet some nice people at the races, and today I had the good fortune to meet Bill Shires, who I had known through his blog (you can read it here). Bill is a great guy and one of the fastest runners in the Charlotte area (he finished 6th overall in today’s race). Rumor has it that he hasn’t missed a day of running since 1986. Wow… I missed two days of running last week!