Sunday, August 26, 2012

Marcia Lemkin 5K Lowell

Krissy has been training our neighbor and close friend, Sandy Armstrong, to run her first 5K road race. Thus, they targeted this race back in June. As for some background on the race, Marcia Lemkin died of lung cancer and never smoked a day in her life. She was an avid runner and mother of North Shore Strider and friend, Melissa Behl. There is a foundation in Marcia's name - Marcia Lemkin Lung Cancer Foundation. The Greater Lowell Road Runners assist putting the race on and had a new course this year. It started in front of Lowell High School and finished outside the Tsongas Center. I warmed up on the course to see the first and last miles along the Merrimac River. I felt OK considering I spent most of yesterday in the backyard doing yard work (tree and brush removal) and not running one step since the Danvers 5K on Wednesday (17:29, 2nd, behind Junyong Pak who ran 17:09).

Not ten strides into the race did I feel my right shoe (Scott racing flat) loosen up (untied). It was double tied but still came unraveled. I never checked the shoes out before hitting the starting line. Having a shoe come untied was a first. I put my right hand directional on and safely got to the sidewalk. As soon as I finished tying the shoe and double knotting it, I was 24 seconds in to the race. I kept composure and got back up to the front of the race in a few minutes. I moved into second place. Ben Ndaya was in command and not going to be caught. Festus Mbuva kept stride for a few minutes. I went through mile one in 5:34. Ben stretched his lead while I no longer heard any steps behind me. I passed mile mile 2 in 11:14 (5:40). I ran past mile 25 of the Bay State Marathon course (memories of calf and hamstring cramps two years ago). By the time I got to the bridge, Ben had the whole length of it ahead of me. I was trying to just keep within a minute of him. Once on the other side of the bridge, the course meandered back down to the walkway along the river back to the opening 3/4 of a mile. I charged up the last incline past the Tsongas Center to the finish line (2nd overall) in 17:09. I placed second for the Shedd Park Fisfits team which finished first overall in the team competition. Ben ran 16:22 for 1st and Festus ran 17:59 for 4th.

I ran back into the race to cheer on Krissy and Sandy. The were looking good. I let them pass me and I ran back to the finish area, parallel to the course. I caught them and managed to get Sandy's iPhone from her while she was running, ran ahead while she had 100m left, and took a few photos of the girls. They ran 39:34. Sandy is looking forward to another race so now she has a time to beat. I chilled out at the post race festivities back at Lowell High. I caught up with Ben Ndaya and Festus Mbuva. Ben is training for at least two fall marathons. Festus admitted that he needs to get more training to support the shorter races that he prefers. Keep an eye out for race photos on the GLRR facebook page on Tuesday.

10th Annual Marcia Lemkin 5K road race results
Lowell, MA, August 26, 2012

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