I ran the Cigna 5K road race earlier this week in Manchester, NH (me, pictured left, in the blue shirt). I ran it last year as my first race after moving to New Hampshire. There were about 5,000 participants last year, and this year it was closer to 5,500.
The weather was cooling down at the 6:20 PM start, but it was still quite humid. After some pre-race activities, the race started and we went through downtown Manchester. It's odd: this race seemed like a lot longer than 3.1 miles, just as it did last year. I routinely run more than 3 miles but this just seemed to take forever.
With more than 5,500 participants, the packs never thinned out. Though I didn't originally intend to, I treated this race as a normal training race with fartleks. I ran my normal pace and then exploded around people to get to open space. I did this at least a half dozen times throughout the race, and I picked it up big time right at the end.
These faux fartleks were just what I needed. As I mentioned before, I need to adjust my workouts so that I burn the maximum amount of calories. It certainly helps to deal with the post-race pizza.
Overall, it was a good race again. Though I ran about 50 seconds slower than last year, it didn't bother me. I ran a 24:38 race this year and was fine with it. I know that if there wasn't the volume of people that I'd be able to run a faster time.
Next race is this weekend: The Moose on the Loose 10-mile run. I'm looking forward to it. This will be my second time running it.