Sunday, April 26, 2009


Pikes Peek is a super fast 10k that finishes literally a ½ mile from my home. It gets a lot of flak as being a “down hill 10k”, however, there are a number of rolling hills (both up and down) throughout the course. The last .2 of the race is downhill and very fast. PP10K was geared as the first race in “Peak 2” of my spring training regimen (whatever that means). It was the first time I donned racing flats since Cherry Blossom. Two years ago, I ran the race of my life here. I had never broken 32:00 before but at the end of the day ran a 40+ second PR with a 31:29. Today I was hoping for a 30:59 or, at worst, a 31:15.

The “g-word” was shouted and I immediately shot to the front. By the time we made our first turn onto Rockville Pike, the entire country of Ethiopia surged past me. I let them go and hovered off the back of their pack. My goal was to goal out hard, but not be stupid. I saw GRC stud Wilson Komen and Abiyot Abebe roll out with the pack. I sort of intended the race to go out very hard and my goal was to also go out hard (but, again not too hard), and pick off the dead and dying after 5k. I hit ½ mile in 2:22…

Well, I went out hard. My first mile was 4:48 and I drifted off in no-man’s-land in 12th place chasing a 10+ man pack that had gone out in 4:35. I hit mile 2 in 9:34; a suicidal pace for 10K. This was my 5k pace. Undeterred, I put my head down and tried to work on the gap between me and the top-tier Ethiopians. I felt strong. At 3 miles I could see the pack splinter. Abebe, Wilson and Khattabi (the Moroccan) battled in a 3-man pack some 10-seconds off the leaders. I hit 3 miles in 14:55 and felt great. 5k was hit in 15:25 – right on schedule.

I fell asleep and then woke up. It was a dream; a bad dream. I could neither sleep nor stay awake. I had to focus on one or the other. Would I sleep or wake up? Would I linger or attack? I hit mile 4 in 20:00, just a tick slower than goal pace. Damn it! I was losing it. Time to wake up!!! The rational part of my brain chimed in “that’s okay, you can correct it”. I felt good and could easily hammer hard for 10 more minutes. Time to rally. Up ahead I could see the trio still lingering behind the now spread out lead “pack”, but I wasn’t closing the gap. The sun bore down and the mercury began to rise (it was 91 here yesterday and was forecasted to be 92 on the afternoon of race day). I squinted through my sunglasses and saw a Kenyan in blue garb fading from the main pack. He was eaten by the trio ahead of me. Could I catch him? I hit mile 5 in 24:59. Rock-on! I wasn’t dying. This was going to end up well after all. I glanced down at my wrist watch to confirm the mile marker clock and was surprised to see 25:12. Which was correct – my watch or the clock? Shit! I hadn’t looked at my watch until now. Were ALL my splits off? No time to think about this now. I put my eyes ahead and started after the Kenyan. He was 100m in front of me, but I began to walk down. 50m…then 25m. He was coming back quickly. I passed Daniel Too (older brother of former FDU start Erik Too) at 5.5 miles and went by him quickly. He glanced over his left shoulder but I snuck by on his right. The last thing I wanted to do was race a Kenyan in the final ¼ mile. I saw the 6 mile marker and the clock read “29 something, something”. I did not look at my wrist watch and instead did my best to kick. I surged towards the finish line and was surprised to see the clock tick 31:15, 16, 17…Damn it, how did this happen!? I finished with a PR 31:22, but WELL off my goal time.

I ended up at 11th place (just out of the money – top 10) with a nominal PR of 7 seconds. I suppose I was the top American (whatever that means – it’s not like the guys ahead of me had 3 legs vis-a-vis my 2). I was definitely bummed. I am not sure whether to believe my splits or not. Either way, I am fairly confident I PR’d in 4 miles and 5 miles today…which was my intent. However, I know I am much better than 31:22, but I didn’t run that way today. I’ve never been so disappointed with a PR race in all my life.

Next up: Broad Street 10 Miler next Sunday.

1 1/122 4 Tesfaye Bekele 25 Bronx NY 28:30 28:30# 4:36
2 1/67 6 Worku Beyi 22 Bronx NY 28:54 28:53# 4:39
3 2/122 1 Demesse Tefera 27 Silver Spring MD 28:57 28:56# 4:40
4 3/122 10 Derese Deniboba 26 Bronx NY 29:07 29:06# 4:41
5 4/122 12 Gurmessa Megerssa 26 S.Spring MD 29:48 29:47# 4:48
6 1/188 14 Mohamed Awol 30 Bronx NY 30:01 30:00# 4:50
7 2/67 3 Abiyot Endale 22 Bronx NY 30:03 30:02 4:50
8 1/234 3304 Elarbi Khattabi 41 Westchester PA 30:29 30:28* 4:55
9 3/67 11 Abiyot Abebe 22 Washington DC 30:32 30:32 4:55
10 2/188 9 Wilson Komen 31 Washington DC 30:38 30:38 4:56
11 5/122 30 Jake Klim 28 North Bethesda M 31:22 31:22 5:03
12 3/188 3341 Daniel Too 32 Abingdon MD 32:04 32:03 5:10
13 1/189 39 Mika Luoto 36 Columbia MD 32:08 32:08 5:11
14 4/188 2189 Tim Schaefer 30 Gaithersburg MD 32:19 32:18 5:12
15 4/67 37 Patrick Reaves 24 Silver Spring MD 32:30 32:30 5:14
16 5/67 2154 Jossi Fritz-Mauer 24 Ardmore PA 33:22 33:19 5:22
17 1/54 2272 Nicolas Escobar 17 Rockville MD 34:06 33:59* 5:29
18 5/188 2842 Joel Adams 31 Manassas VA 34:08 34:06 5:30
19 6/122 38 Billy Askey 26 Arlington VA 34:09 34:08 5:30
20 2/234 2777 Peter Keating 43 Columbia MD 34:20 34:17 5:31
21 2/54 2707 Sam Boimov 19 Montgomery Vill 34:20 34:18 5:32
22 7/122 3232 Aaron Anderson 25 Gaithersburg MD 34:39 34:37 5:35
23 6/67 28 Jimmy Daly 23 Washington DC 34:41 34:40 5:35
24 3/234 2782 Jim Nielsen 43 Broadlands VA 34:50 34:48 5:36
25 8/122 1785 Joshua Hunsberger 29 Bethesda MD 34:55 34:52 5:37
26 1/129 51 Mark Malander 51 Herndon VA 35:03 35:02* 5:39
27 4/234 1697 Bill Bray 44 Fairfax VA 35:06 35:03 5:39
28 7/67 1769 Kyle Friis 22 Brookeville MD 35:10 35:08 5:40
29 3/54 2790 Matthew Kim 15 Bethesda MD 35:16 35:11* 5:40
30 1/196 25 Greg Cauller 49 York PA 35:13 35:12 5:40


nguyenhai said...

Great race report. LOL @ "the entire county of Ethiopia surged past me"...

The Mr. said...

I also thought I was doing well until my I checked my watch splits later on. The 2 mile marker was ~20 seconds fast for me, 3 was ~8 seconds, and after that I stopped paying attention to the clocks. Still a PR for you though!

KLIM said...

Billy - So, you're saying your watch and clock were off 20 seconds and 8 seconds for mile 2 and 3, respectively?

The Mr. said...

Yep. I thought I was 10:17ish for 2 miles (my watch said 10:37 when I checked later). I thought 3 was 15:58, but my watch was 16:04 (only 6 seconds, not 8). I don't really recall the clocks after that.

MarleyM said...

Nice report!
I ran this race too and was disappointed with my time. Was it the heat?

KLIM said...

Thanks Marley. How off were you from your goal time?

No, I didn't personally think the heat was bad. It was sunny, but not too hot. It wasn't until later in the day that the heat got tough.

KLIM said...

Thanks nguyenhai. Clearly I meant to say "countRy"