Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yeungling Lager Jogger 5K: Will Run for Beer

This Saturday Kristen and I ran the 2nd Annual Lager Jogger in Pottsville, PA, home of Yeungling, a race put on by Mid Atlantic Timing.  A 3000 person 5K Run/Walk with a festive atmosphere and a lot going on.  We were really happy to be finally running a race for the first time in about a month.  FINALLY, a chance to freshen up the blog.
Great race freebies!
The scoop I got on this race was that it's a tough (very hilly) course.  Odds of finally breaking the 20 minute barrier were still just as good as any other race as I assumed the hills couldn't be all that bad and I was so close in my last 5K.

The starting line was very well organized in corrals by approximate pace.  11min + in the back, 9-11 min milers in the next section, 7-9, then sub-7 in the lead corral.  It was the first time in my running career I found myself very confidently at home in the front of the field before the start.  3000 runners and I was starting with the top 20-25 and hoping to finish right about there, too.

Dick Yeungling himself welcomed the pack of runners to the start line and sent us off with an air horn.  No specific plan in mind, I just fell into a trot with the group I started with.  As far as I could tell, from the start line, it was a long straight and gradual uphill for as far as I could see, nothing major but I kept my pace steady and felt a little slower than I wanted to be.  The entire first mile was a steady climb until we hit a quick turn and started to loop around a few blocks to complete the first half.  The good news was obvious: at some point, we'll get to another mile back to the finish that is all downhill.
The data and an apparent glitch in the HR monitor.
Between the first and last miles, we navigated around a few residential blocks with a couple short steep climbs, nothing too bad, before I knew it, I was at the 2nd mile marker and assessing what was left in the tank.  Soon after, the home-stretch was in sight, I recovered my spiking heart rate and set my sights on catching the next runner ahead of me about a tenth of a mile in front of me.

Well, that never happened, I got a little closer to catching the guy ahead of me but we both put down a good last mile.  Seeing the race clock ahead of me, I could already see a "2" as the lead digit.  I was still happy with my 21:16 finish for the 3.2 miles.  The time put me 34th overall and 12th in my age group.
One more race in the books.
We lingered around the block party for a while with Kristen's sister and brother-in-law and a few other friends.  The brewery tours were full up so we enjoyed a few lagers, some pierogies, and big news: Yeungling Ice Cream is pretty awesome.  I tried on some Hoka's at a booth and loved them.  It was a little surprising as they look the complete opposite of my minimalist shoes.  They're light as a feather and run very very smooth.  I may be picking up a pair very soon.

Looking for another snack before we left, we made out like bandits.  I think we took our race entry fees' worth of Lara bars to stock up for the Ironmasters Challenge in 2 weeks.  There were 1000's left, but we were kind and only filled our pockets and Kristen's tote bag.
Kristen, counting our LARA Bounty

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