Tune-up race: Westport St. Pat’s 4M #HHRAMBASSADOR @skorarunning

A few weekends ago I ran the Westport St. Patrick’s Day Run, a 4 mile event I did a few years back. I had a reason to return this year: I changed law firms this past fall, and my new office is right at the start/finish line of this race – very convenient! No porta-potties for me.

The course is really challenging – a lot of elevation change. That makes it a good Hospital Hill Run tune-up! If I’m not mistaken, it does share a brief segment or two with the HHR, albeit in the opposite direction. I went out pretty hard, because this is one of those races where there are a ton of people, but not everyone realizes where they should sort out to (i.e., if you actually start by your expected pace sign, you’re going to have a ton of people in front of you that aren’t going to run anywhere near that pace). So, I stood about 10 yards off the start line – not enough to embarrass myself with the guys wearing singlets, but close enough to not get caught behind the iPod crowd. After running down the first hill and heading up to the first turn, I felt like I’d placed myself perfectly – there was enough room to pass a few people who were overly optimistic, and by the same token I didn’t get passed by anyone.

At bigger races, I feel like people do a much better job of seeding themselves into “corrals” even if there aren’t any. Hospital Hill actually has corrals, which are based on the expected pace you submit with your entry, so be honest (with yourself!). You’ll be happier, and so will your fellow runners.

I’d say I ran this race at around 90-95% of max effort. I was working hard, but I didn’t go all out. It’s a tuneup race, not a goal race. My next two goal races are the Boston Marathon and the Hospital Hill Run (a half marathon).

I ran this race in a pre-production sample of Skora’s new TEMPO shoe, soon to be available to the public. Check back soon for my review of the shoe, which drops Monday, 4/6 (the shoe, not my review, which probably isn’t cool enough to “drop”).

I guess I’m a contrarian, but I decided to wear red for this St. Pat’s run. It does make it easier to find me in these pictures.

Farthest back:

Rob Smith Photography: 2015 0314 St Patricks Day Run &emdash; KCTC_StPatsRun_0226_2820

I am cranking at this point. Thanks to my red shirt, some guy in the crowd yelled, “Go red dude!” I don’t think he was mocking me…at least I found it to be motivational:

Rob Smith Photography: 2015 0314 St Patricks Day Run &emdash; KCTC_StPatsRun_0227_2821

Here I am, gulping for air:

Rob Smith Photography: 2015 0314 St Patricks Day Run &emdash; KCTC_StPatsRun_0228_2822

Finally, if the embed works, here’s a video of the finish (nice touch, RD!):


I managed a third in my age group at this race – not bad for a tuneup!

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