Races – First Race of 2015: Needham New Year’s Day 5K

Like many runners, I started my 2015 with the Needham New Year’s Day 5K and got a good sense of where I stand. I ran the same race on the same course on January 1, 2015, so there is a good basis for comparison. Based on the results, there is a lot of training in my future.

Let me digress here for a moment to say something about times. I saw a discussion on a Facebook runners group where it was generally agreed that asking someone about their times after a race was a big taboo. I don’t see it that way. For most of us, these races are about competing with ourselves, so to talk about times is a way to talk about how we are doing. When I talk about times with other runners, the point is to see how their race was, were they happy with the results, and did we experience similar races. So, I am going to talk about my times. Let me know if you think it is strange or wrong to talk about times.

So, let’s look at the time and placement.

Year Chip Time Gun Time Pace/Mile Place
2014 23:41 23:57 7:38 100/371
2015 27:34 28:29 8:53 227/465


In 2014 the weather was sunny and about 25 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 4 Celsius for those who use it). In 2015, the weather was sunny and about 30 degrees Fahrenheit, so I can’t blame the weather. It was all me at this point. I confess to running with a bit of a bourbon handicap, but even without that, I don’t know that I could have matched last year’s times.

Next for me is figuring out how to step up my training for future runs and adapting to cold weather running. The cold is not so much the problem as the snow and ice, but that is for another post. (Though advice and ideas are appreciated!)

Let me give a quick review of the race. The Needham Running Club (http://needhamrunningclub.com) does a good job with this race every year. It is well organized, the course is laid out well, and rather than giving the runners another shirt, they give people a hat!

IMG_20150104_211259347It is a nice thing to have in a winter run. The race organizers always have a good cadre of volunteers and so, despite a little crowding in the YMCA by the start of the race, things move smoothly. The course is mostly flat, but there is a long, gentle incline in mile two and three that provides a bit of resistance to the average runner. Still, if you are in the area on New Year’s and looking for a race to start a year off right, this is a good one.

In the next post, I plan little about my race history and goals for 2015. Getting faster is definitely one.

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