McMullen Mile: A step in the right direction.

It was a dark and stormy night.  No really it was, but that didn’t stop about 100 people from running in the 2013 McMullen Mile.  As I’ve said many times, the McMullen Mile is my favorite race of the year.  I spend all spring looking forward to racing it, and all summer thinking about what I can do better next time.  I’ve had some great performances there and some truly terrible ones, like last years flame-out.  This year was I was very happy with my performance even if my time wasn’t great.

The Start

The normal field of 15 or so runners was cut down to only 7, I assume because of the rain.  Personally I enjoy running in the rain and was looking forward to it all afternoon.  As the meet got underway the rain really started to pickup, and despite a race volunteers best efforts the inside lane on both turns were underwater.  Most runners were opting to run in the second lane around the turns rather than splash through the puddles.  This wasn’t to simply avoid getting wet feet, but because it looked like enough water to really slow you down if you tried to slog through it.  When our race began around 8 pm the heavy rain had relented a bit but the puddles were not going anywhere.

First turn.
First turn.

A runner from RIT took the early lead and I settled in to the front of the pack containing the rest of the field.  As we approached the end of the first lap I thought, either the RIT kid was about to run a 61 or the rest of us were about to run a 70.  Turns out he was running that fast, and I split the first 409 meters in 1:08.  I contiuned to lead the pack until about 700 meters when Mark Streb went by me.  Soon after that Greg Selke passed me quickly followed by Chad Byler.  I wasn’t concerned about the 3 of them streaming past me as I was pretty sure I could outkick both Chad and Greg.  Mark Streb is a sub 4:20 miler so I wasn’t really concerned about what he was up to.

Me jogging lap 3
Me jogging lap 3

I made a move past Greg in the first turn of the final lap after having practically jogged a 72 second 3rd lap.  I had let Chad get about 2 seconds ahead of me and Greg about 1 second ahead of me, but thought they were both within striking distance.  I closed to within a stride or two of Chad and felt like I was going to be able to roll right past him, but he found some new life with 200 meters to go and held me off all the way to finish.  If you look at the splits below you’ll see I was right thinking I could close faster than Chad and Greg, the problem was I only ran .045 seconds faster than Chad on the last lap and I needed to run 1.6 seconds faster than him.

1.6 seconds too slow.
1.6 seconds too slow.

While I didn’t run as fast as I would have liked, I was very happy with a 3 second improvement over last years time.  Considering last years weather and track conditions were perfect, I was getting more than 4 hours sleep at a time, and generally doing more running than I was this time around a 3 second improvment feels more like a 10 second improvement.  I also haven’t run so many sub 4:40 miles that I can just dismiss them because they aren’t low 4:30’s.  I haven’t mentioned Kenny’s performance in the race, because I think he would just as soon forget about it.  Instead I’ll refer you to my post from a few months ago talking about his awesome marathon win in 2 hours 35 minutes.

Complete Results

    Name        Splits        Age  Time
  1 Mike Kurvach              23  4:25.09
      1:03.454 (1:03.454)  
      2:10.738 (1:07.284)  
      3:18.943 (1:08.206)  
      4:25.088 (1:06.145)

  2 Mark Streb                23  4:30.59
      1:08.800 (1:08.800)  
      2:18.351 (1:09.552)  
      3:26.641 (1:08.290)  
      4:30.582 (1:03.942)

  3 Chad Byler                30  4:36.75
      1:09.126 (1:09.126)  
      2:18.901 (1:09.776)  
      3:29.710 (1:10.809)  
      4:36.750 (1:07.040)

  4 Joshua Perks              38  4:38.31
      1:08.662 (1:08.662)  
      2:18.717 (1:10.056)  
      3:31.308 (1:12.591)  
      4:38.303 (1:06.995)

  5 Greg Selke                23   4:40.6
      1:08.925 (1:08.925)  
      2:18.569 (1:09.645)  
      3:29.914 (1:11.345)  
      4:40.606 (1:10.693)

  6 Justin Niebel             28  4:48.48
      1:09.586 (1:09.586)  
      2:21.540 (1:11.954)  
      3:37.503 (1:15.964)  
      4:48.476 (1:10.973)

  7 Kenny Goodfellow          23  4:54.16
      1:09.191 (1:09.191)  
      2:20.998 (1:11.807)  
      3:36.709 (1:15.712)  
      4:54.156 (1:17.447)

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