Monday, May 14, 2012

Race Report: 2012 HACC Dash York Campus 5K (And Associated Rambling Stories)

In May 2011, I ran the inaugural HACC Dash 5K with a friend from college.  It turned out to be one of my favorite races of the year.  It was the second-fastest 5K I'd ever run, I took third in my age group (My friend Derek won our age group and was 7th overall), and the HACC York Campus put on a well-organized and fun event.

Just like last year's HACC Dash, I approached this year's version with low expectations for myself.  I'd slogged through a slow 5-miles the previous day with some discomfort in my left shin/mystery bump, left ankle, and both knees.  I'd also spent a fun Saturday afternoon and evening in Baltimore including dinner at the Leinenkugel Beer Garden and an evening with the surprisingly competent Baltimore Orioles.  

(I'm not sure why Lienenkugel has their beer garden at the Baltimore Inner Harbor...but I don't mind.)

(Why, yes. Those bases are indeeed loaded with Orioles.)

But what about HACC Dash?  Trust me, this is all relevant.  

You see, for dinner I had a delicious cheeseburger, a few adult beverages, and part of an order of crab pretzels (In case this is just a Baltimore thing, it's soft pretzel logs with crab meat on them).  I have gout, and the worst gout attack I ever had came after I ate super-delicious crabcake and steak combo dinner at the Conewago Inn (a nice restaurant a mile from our house).  So, while my gout wasn't flaring up on Saturday, I took my gout medication on Saturday night as a precaution...

And woke up on Sunday feeling great.  A) I didn't have gout and B) all my weird leg pains from the day before were gone. (My gout medicine is a prescription-strength anti-infamatory, after all)  I still didn't think I was in shape for a PR, but I didn't think a good race was out of the question.

It was a beautiful morning, a little warm but no humidity (last year was really humid!).  I arrived at HACC around 8:30, registered, stretched and chatted with friends as we waited for the start.  The excellent HACC Singers did a great job with the national anthem, and the race began.

I took off.  I didn't have my Garmin, so I don't know how fast my pace was, but I was well above my comfort zone.  I hit the first mile at just around 7 minutes.  I knew that was faster than I could maintain, but I continued to push myself, and I believe it was around 15 minutes that I hit mile marker 2; my pace was slipping but I was still within striking distance of my best 5K times.  I knew the course, and as the course turned into the parking lot for one of the HACC campus buildings (I believe the former Dyncorp Building), I thought I had a chance...

Just a few more turns...

23:20 (Unofficial Brian's Watch Time):  A new PR and a sub 23-minute 5K seems within reach. (Next year's HACC Dash?)

It's gotta be the shoes.  I just don't have another explanation.  I'm more comfortable in the Brooks Adrenaline, but in the past two months I've PR'd the 8K, 10K, and now 5K in the adiZero Tempo.

HACC did a great job with this, again.  The t-shirt is nice, the finisher medal (new this year) is very cool, and they had a great spread of post-race food including the Sheetz truck again, and even the national anthem singers were excellent.  I was unable to stay for the awards ceremony this year.

For the second year HACC Dash has overcome the campus' setting in the route 30 corporate park and race organizers have just put on a great, fun, challenging 5K.  

(To clarify the above comment, the HACC York Campus seems very, very nice and is a convenient location.  The corporate park adjacent to route 30 isn't picturesque by any means...but it's a 5K not a national park!)

(Derek and I after another successful HACC Dash.)


  1. YAY!!! Great job on that 5k PR. Loved the RR and no doubt a sub 23 is in your near future! Happy Training!! :)