Millersburg Rotary Club 5k/10k By Tristan Ok, so there were not that many people there and it wasn't super competitive. I believe there were around 75 total runners IIRC. It's a small town out in Ohio's 'Amish Country'. I love getting away from the city and doing some of the small town races, and it's such a beautiful drive through the pastoral countryside and rolling hills. I ran this race for the first time last year, made a 10k PR of 40:46 and came in second place (about 45 seconds behind the leader which doesn't sound like much but he was completely out of sight the last 1/2 mile). I was really hoping to finally break 40 minutes and have a shot of winning this year. The last half marathon I did 3 weeks ago really took a toll on me so I didn't get much actual training for this event, mostly took it easy the last few weeks. Forecast was much like last year unfortunately, 50's which I was fine with but rain. Fortunately it was just a drizzle/sprinkle. I was questioning my choice of cargo shorts, which were mostly cotton, and soak water. But I just went with it. Yeah they turned a dark soaked shade of green but no big deal. My stomach was off the day before, but I tried to eat some extra fruit, a good dose of honey in my tea the night before, and made up a smoothie that has served me well for a few races now, a cacao-mocha 'superfood' smoothie. Oh and a banana. I brewed a mug of coffee but didn't drink it in the morning. Instead, I waited until after I did my warmup and stretching at the race, then went back to the truck 10 minutes before race start and chugged about half of it. Trying to get the caffeine without having to pee before/during the race and it worked perfectly, though I might back that up to 15 minutes prior in the future. Wet morning in Millersburg before race start. I was feeling good, loose, and ready to go. I knew last year there were a few fast 5k'ers there, so at the start line I took a spot in the second row, but still only a couple feet back from the line. And then we were off! Pretty quickly about 4 of us formed a lead pack and everyone else was behind a pretty good gap, though I didn't really look back at all after we got going (but really easy to hear everyone else's shoes slapping the asphalt rail-trail). The lead 5k'er took off and had a good lead going in no time, he finished in 17:06 at 5:30 pace. But from the talking at the front lines before race start I new the couple around me were doing only the 5k. Crossed the 1 mile mark and a fellow shouted out 6:12. At that point I had the lead 5k'er out infront, and the second 5k'er next to me, and another unknown close behind. At the 5k turnaround all the footstops I could hear soon vanished, but I still didn't look back to see, just kept chugging away. Though when I am by myself, it suddenly becomes much harder to maintain that race pace! Not only that, but I was getting a bit of a cramp in the side of my lungs... they were not used to breathing this hard even in my speed repeat training days. I eased up just a tad. The lung crap faded after not too long, but morphed to a slight stomach cramp (just slight). Maybe it was the coffee right before the race, or the smoothie that was just inside my usual 2-hr cutoff for fast races. But it faded away too thankfully. Running solo now after the 5k turn-around. Hit the turn around at 19:34, and got a view of the next 10k'er maybe 100-200 yards back. I good margin, but still close enough if he was holding back to finish strong and I tired and slowed, he could still catch me. I tried to pick the pace back up just a little. We exchanged 'good job' each in passing. Then after a couple minutes came more of a steady stream of folks, and most of them cheered me on and I did in return. This did help boot moral and I was able to inch up the speedometer just a bit more. Though I slowed back down a bit after passing most of them. Finished up the second half in around 19:48... ran through the chute at 39:22 @ 6:20 avg pace according to the results. Into the chute. Take that shoddies! I did about another half mile jog and half mile walk back. Had some folks congratulating me, and most proclaimed there surprise I could do it barefoot. No hecklers and just a couple people that actually asked me about it, including the 5k winner. My stomach was a bit off and my system was pretty stressed for sure. I wasn't even hungry or thirsty (also took no water during the race). It wasn't until after the awards that I treated myself to one of their donuts and a tiny bit of coffee. Getting my 'cheesy' award. Hard to see in that picture but the awards for this lower-budget race were blocks of Guggisberg baby swiss which are made there locally and quite renown. They put a ribbon on the cheese and put it on along with the regular winners ribbon. At least that is an award I can use! For a little race out in just about the middle of nowhere, this one is hard to beat. Great volunteers and well organized, with professional timing and this year even a photographer (and free photos). Still get a nice showing of runners, and it's a nice area. If it wasn't all wet I'd have got the bike out and enjoyed more of the trail - that stretch of trail is about 16 miles long paved, with an unfinished section they are paving this year and next to bring it up to around 30 miles in length and will connect to other trails linking all the way back to near my house. Just watch out for horse and buggies using the trail!