On Thursday May 29th, just days after running the Buffalo Half Marathon, I ran my third Corporate Challenge event. The Corporate Challenge at Rochester was actually my first race back in 2006. This event has traditionally been a big event for the company that I work for, Impact Technologies. Each year my company has outstanding participation numbers and impressive running numbers as well.
I don’t often run shorter races. My frugal mind has difficulty spending race entry fees for short races like 5ks. For that reason I was looking forward to seeing how fast I could run a shorter event. The Corporate Challenge is a 3.5 mile race. The only race that I’ve ever run that was 3.5 miles was the Corporate Challenge. In 2007 I finished in about 27 minutes. Based on recent performance I was pretty sure that I could beat that time. My goal was to finish in under 24:30. A 24:30 is a pace of 7 minutes per mile (8.57 mph). I really wanted to break the 7 minute barrier.
Because the race is not chip timed and because there are a lot of novice runners many people line up at the start out of their ability range. I lined up between the 6 and 7 minute per mile markers which was generous for me as I expected about a 7 minute per mile pace (but hoped for much better). When the gun went off there was a lot of fighting for position. I ended up bumping into many people and not feeling bad about that.
The race was very difficult for me. After the first mile my throat was so dry that it hurt to swallow. I tried for the rest of the race to avoid swallowing. I now believe that to be impossible. I ended up finishing in 23:57, a 6:51 average pace (8.76 mph). This beat my goal and I was satisfied. My official time, gun time, was between 24:10 and 24:15. Amazingly I came in fourth in my company! I’m proud of that because it means that my time actually counts towards my companies overall standings.
Running this event further proved to me that I prefer longer distances. For the entire race I felt like I had to push harder. I was uncomfortable for the *entire* race. My lungs were on fire and my throat stuck to itself. When running longer races it’s much more comfortable. I simply find a comfortable pace and then maintain that pace or slightly higher. I prefer the feeling of fatigue or raging infernos in my lungs.