RACE REPORT: The 2023 Brian Kraft 5K

>> Tuesday, May 30, 2023

My boys and I were ready to race the Brian Kraft 5K yesterday morning! It was going to be their 2nd 5K after they did the Get in Gear 5K last month. Charlie joined me for my pre-race potty photo in our bathroom:

I'm on the can. He's just next to me smiling.

Brotherly love at the park next to Lake Nokomis.

A pic from Mama just 7 mins pre-race!

In that last photo, the starting line was just about a block behind us, so we all took off to get lined up. Charlie lined up with trainer Laurie from my running team as she was hoping for sub-30 and that was Charlie's "A" goal - he knew he'd let up if he needed to. Henry hopped in a bit in front of Charlie. And I headed up a bit closer to the start. DKT lined up next to me, and Brian D asked what I was hoping to run. "Hoping for 17:30 or so!" And then he smiled and kept walking farther back.

I got nervous as my Garmin had a lot of trouble finding a satellite (it's been doing that lately), but it finally beeped when everyone moved up about 30 secs pre-start. Whew. Time to focus and try to hit some 2:50 half-mile splits. Hopefully.

"ON YOUR MARKS......." **airhorn noises**

I got to the inside REALLY quick. I had no one trying to box me out, and I was lined up at about the PERFECT spot. That rarely happens to me. My start was beautiful.

I'm barely visible way back there. The kid with the hair (#7712) I barely passed in the last mile!

There's me in the orange and pink back there on the inside!

Look at the space I had on the inside! Nice!

Henry just a bit behind me!

Laurie and Charlie starting with a smile!

I was a LITTLE worried that I was starting a LITTLE too hard. I was working. I was really curious what my opening half mile split would be, and I was pretty happy to see it was 2:47! That means it was on the faster side, but not so fast that I was afraid of blowing up at this point. (I had noted in my pre-race post that 2:45 could be too fast, but 2:55 would be too slow.) I had built nearly a 0:05 "cushion" for my 5:40/mile goal by the first mile marker:

MILE 1: 5:35.8 (2:47.2 + 2:48.6)

I was REALLY running good tangents here! I was right along the curb when we were curving left, and I'd cut a bit across the road when we had a few curves to the right. I was NOT happy to see my 3rd half-mile split of 2:55! I didn't realize I had slowed up that much, and I just gave back all that cushion. "Alright, you're half done and still RIGHT on track for your 'best possible' outcome, so go hard here and suffer to make it happen!" Yes, I was still right where I wanted to be based on my overall time, but it was a bummer knowing that my last split was so slow - that made me worried for the last half of this race.

It turns out that I ran my fastest split of the day as my next split as I wanted to build back that cushion! I ran past Mo and Gracia and gave her a cheer. (I passed Gracia at the Hot Dash 5K back in March, but it was much later in the race - I took this as a good sign that I was getting in front of her earlier!)

MILE 2: 5:42.0 (2:55.2 + 2:46.8)

I also passed DKT in here, and I think that's the first time THAT'S happened in a race! But I was DESPERATELY waiting for my Garmin to beep indicating I was at mile 2.5. I was hurting. I had ran this race so well so far, but could I keep holding on to the pain? I was happy to see my mile 2 to 2.5 split was 2:47, but now I had NO IDEA what my final split would be. I was HASHED.

Pic from my wife around mile 2.9 or so.
Still running good lines along the curb!

Deep in hurt!

Gracia was just a few seconds behind me!

I hit mile 3 and actually glanced at my OVERALL time - my 5:40/mile goal would put me right at 17:00, but my Garmin beeped a little before the mile marker, so I was hoping to see 16:57 (or so) or better in order to finish sub-17:40. But I saw 16:53. I had an outside chance at sub-17:30 and was trying to get to the finish!!!

MILE 3: 5:35.7 (2:47.2 + 2:48.5)

FINAL 0.1 MILES: 0:35.7 (5:28 pace for 0.11 miles)


Steve Stenzel, 42, St. Paul, Male

17:29 chip time
17:32 gun time
5:38/mile pace
79% age graded results

88 out of 450 overall
85 out of 275 males
9 out of 55 in the M40-49 age group

Start-to-finish, I passed 18 runners and was passed by 4 runners.

[Garmin: 17:29.4 for 3.11 miles, or 5:37.43/mile pace]

I HIT MY SUB-17:40 GOAL!! I was actually just under 17:30!! I ran a (most likely short) 5K in under that time years ago, but otherwise I think I've only had TWO 5Ks faster than that in my life! (In 2010 and 2012!) This was the fastest I've covered this distance in a long time. I just hit this race so well and tried to hold on through that pain of the last mile. And my speed work has been on point lately.

I ran backwards along the course looking for my wife and Henry. Henry's goal time came and went. We spotted him coming, and he was HOT:

He went out hard, but then crashed in the last mile. Dang.

I was proud of him for shooting for his goal. He wasn't too bummed... just hot and miserable at the moment. He finished just 10 seconds slower than his first 5K with a time of 25:24. Then we saw Charlie coming in:

Go Charlie!

At the mile 3 marker!

He just missed his lofty goal of sub-30 with a 30:17 finish, which was still over 90 seconds faster than his first 5K!

Sweaty boys post-race!

A teammate selfie!

Treats from Mel-O-Glaze bakery for the ride home!

Back with more photos and post-race notes shortly!


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