5K Challenge: A race that felt more like a club run

The North Adams Strides for Students 5K felt more like a club run than a race. Most of the 39 runners knew each other, and even though I’m from out of county, I’m starting to identify who’s who.

I know where to fall in line in the early stages of the race, trying to stay within plausible trailing distance of the runners who generally place ahead of me, hoping that each time out I’ll get a little closer.

In Saturday’s race, I narrowed the gap – and even passed one of the runners who usually beats me by two minutes or so, though she later sucked it up and finished 26 seconds ahead of me.

I was initially disappointed to see my time, which at 33:02 was my slowest effort in the last three races. But comparing notes with others, and looking over the results afterward, it turned out that everybody’s time was slower than expected. Barry Humble, who won his age group in last year’s Adams County 5K Challenge, told me he was a minute and a half slower this week than he was last week at the Swiss Days Race.

Either the heat was a factor or the course was a little long. Either way, it was a worthwhile run.

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