ELEVEN SECONDS. That’s all that now separates me from my goal of running a 5K in under 20 minutes. With my new personal record (PR) time of 20:10.9 in the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K last Saturday, I got ever closer to the magic number. I’d say I feel like Roger Bannister trying to break the four-minute mile, but no way I’m going to lay claim to anywhere near his effort and dedication.
Speaking of Sir Roger Bannister, I highly recommend The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb, a terrific account of three great runners trying to become the best in the world, and how a one-mile race featuring all three was very nearly organized. Bascomb details the training and study Bannister put into his goal; his was as much a scientific endeavor as a physical one. And I’m not sure how many people know that Australian John Landy was also trying to break the four-minute barrier at the same time, and ran a 3:58 mile just weeks after Bannister ran his historic 3:59.4.
My Saturday 5K translates into a 6:30 pace per mile, so I’ve got a ways to go yet to catch Roger. But hey, one goal at a time.
Last month I followed up a then-PR 20:14 5K with a 10K race the next day. So how do you top that? By running a 10K half an hour after the 5K, of course, to claim the coveted “Iron Turkey” award. Signing up for and running both races on Saturday morning gets you a special T-shirt and medal. The overall Iron Turkey winner, Alex Russeau, ran a superhuman combined 47:20. Look out, Roger!
So I figure I have two or three more cracks at the 20:00 mark before my birthday. The Thanksgiving morning turkey trot on North Campus is a likely candidate, and perhaps something this weekend. Finally there’s the Holiday Hustle in Dexter on Dec. 1, my personal favorite because the 2008 HH was my first-ever race. Look what one little 5K can to do you…