Sunday, January 1, 2017

Harmony Silvester 2016 5K Race Recap

While my sub-25 5K goal has still not been checked off my to-do list, I snagged another AG award (sort of) & ran a great race to end 2016 with a bang.

The Harmony Silvester 5K is run every year on NYE by the tiny town of Harmony, PA, 40-ish minutes north of the city of Pittsburgh. With a strong German heritage the town celebrates the New Year on German time, complete with 6PM fireworks & ball drop.

Online registration was just $20 and included a long sleeve tech-tee. Parking was ample and packet pickup took all of 30 seconds. After Ciara and I picked up our packets we headed back to the car for a final "gear check" before moseying towards the start line. We were able to wait inside the warm community center until just a few minutes before the start of the race.


While inside the community center I saw the Race Director who ran my Sprint Triathlon in 2015. Stay with me, this is important. Since it was my very first tri I started my open water swim with the novice women's group. I rocked my tri and decided to stick around for the awards ceremony. The AG awards came and were passed out - but no one called my name. I took a look at the results, saw that I finished a full 2 minutes faster than the 25-29 AG winner, so I alerted the RD who told me that those results weren't "final" & that because I had competed as a novice I was ineligible for AG awards. Something that was never advertised. So, I contacted her again once official results were posted, via FB, via email, and via Twitter. No response. Still salty about it, as I put in a seriously killer training session and had never won an AG award before. Alright, so, to summarize, won my age group, got screwed out of an award. Now hold that thought.

I had decided the night before that I would do a short morning run with Pro Bike + Run & decided that this 5K would not be my new PR. I ran an easy 4 miles in the morning, so was nervous to how my legs would react to my second run of the day. I set a modest goal of sub-27. And without much time to think anymore about it, we were off.


Mile 1 - 8:31

The wind was starting just as the race did, and the sky continued to darken, though that didn't deter me from wearing my sunglasses. I felt good, but spent some time dodging some young kiddos and other folks less aware of their surroundings. I was pleasantly surprised to find several groups out along the course celebrating and cheering on the runners. Mile 1 ended just after the top of the hill.

Mile 2 - 8:19

I felt good heading towards the turn-around and saw the front runners heading back towards the finish line. I hit the turn-around, skipped the water stop and saw Ciara all in a short span. My pacing felt good and I cruised up the hill for round two.

Mile 3 - 8:17 + .1 @ 7:38 pace

The crowd was definitely thinning out at this point and the rain picked up. I finished the downhill and tried to pick up the pace as we got closer to the finish line. I thought the rain might actually force me to take off my sunglasses, but a strong wind cleared the fog from them. As we rounded the final corner, with a quarter mile to go I could see the finish line & picked it up to finish strong.

Finish time - 25:31

Seconds after crossing the finish line I was stopped, they were attempting to do finishers awards at the finish line due to the weather & cold temperatures. The RD from my tri looked at my bib, looked at her list and proclaimed I had finished third in my age group & handed me my medal! I was ecstatic! I had a strong race, with negative splits and was excited to end 2016 on a high note.


Ciara and I did a quick change of clothes before heading to Wunderbar for a post-race fancy coffee and grilled cheese. We enjoyed chatting until a few minutes before 6PM. We headed towards the town square just in time for a few minutes of dancing, a countdown in German as the ball dropped & a fireworks show before we headed home.


Flash forward a few hours, post race, post fancy coffee and crepes and post fireworks. Sitting, eating Chinese food I pulled up the final race results to take a look at my official finish time, only to discover I hadn't indeed placed 3rd in my age group, but 4th. And a full minute slower than the true 3rd place finisher. So, the RD, who failed to give me my AG award from my tri in 2015 handed me an AG award I didn't win, to cap off 2016. And starting to think maybe this woman shouldn't be directing races. -__-

Ciara & Mr. Sass reasoned that this was the award I've been due since I won my tri age group - and I tend to agree, though hate that someone who did win is feeling cheated, like I was. So folks, that's the story of how I sort of won my age group. Which, felt super weird, and was about the way 2016 went for the rest of the world.

I ran a strong race, with negative splits, and regardless of my AG placement finished 2016 off right. I'm excited to see what 2017 has in store and to actually track my mileage - I truly have no idea how many miles I ran this year, but I'm excited to track them in 2017.

Anyone else race this weekend?
Ever "won" an award you didn't deserve?

Linking up with :Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights + Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run

34 comments:

  1. Congrats on placing third in your age group. So exciting! Way to end the year on a high note!

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    1. Thank you! It was definitely such a fun way to end an already great year!

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  2. That's a wonderful way to end the year and start a new one.
    Happy 2017!

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  3. Regardless of your official age group placement, you ran a very strong race with an impressive finish time. I have been given the wrong award (several times). I've actually had RDs to mail me the correct one without asking me to return the one I was given. Any time I see I've been given one that belonged to someone else, I feel horrible. Celebrating New Years at 6pm sounds like my kind of town! Thanks for linking, Jessie! Happy New Year!

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    1. I feel bad about it for sure, not enough to give back the medal though. Haha. My friend brought up that maybe awards were based on gun-time, not chip time & that I crossed the finish line before the other girl?

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  4. Wow, what a mess! That was a great race regardless and a great way to end the year. I wonder if this is the same woman who runs the Shamrock Shuffle half in Harmony? If you're looking for a killer half marathon check it out :)

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    1. It is the same woman who runs the Shamrock Shuffle. The reason I've sort of ruled it out. :/

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  5. Ahh how ironic! I'm always afraid that is going to happen when I place high in a race. It must be a little deflating to later realize you didn't do as well as you thought. But you came close to 25 on a tough course and executed an excellent race! You're getting better and better, keep going!

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    1. Definitely was, but not deflating enough to send back the medal. I'm still VERY pleased with how the race went and my pacing. So, a win either way.

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  6. YAY for a successful, fit weekend! Tisk tisk on no hiking pictures!

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  7. OK... that's just messed up. Someone else needs to be doing that job. Makes you wonder how many other awards are messed up from races that director did. UGHHHH
    At least you got something. you know what you did regardless ;)

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    1. RIGHT!? That's the thing I keep thinking. If this has happened to me twice, at 2 different races, does it just happen all the time? Are all her races like this?

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  8. Yayyy! What a way to finish the year! You are awesome, girl!

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  9. What a story! AG placement or no, you definitely had an awesome race and ended the year on such a positive note! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I was super proud of how the race as a whole went! I felt so strong!

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  10. Wow those are some crazy mixup a! Regardless, congrats on your 5k! I like running fast but 5ks still scare the heck out of me so I don't do them too often!

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    1. I FINALLY feel like I made a lot of 5K progress this year. The pacing is the hardest part for me, and I feel like my splits are reflecting that I'm starting to figure out how to pace myself.

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  11. Yikes, what a weird mix up with the age group and now you've had it happen twice with the same race director!?! But congrats on running a strong race!

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    1. Right!? I don't trust the woman. Which is a shame since she is the RD for a decent chunk of local races.

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  12. Congrats on such a strong race! How weird about the AG awards. That RD probably should find a new career. 😲 I would feel super bad about the person who was actually in third, though.

    I'm committing to actually tracking my mileage on 2017, too. I'm usually so terrible about it, but I spent most of the day on the 1st adding up all of 2016, and getting ready to track this year. Lol.

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    1. Yay for tracking mileage! I'm hoping a spreadsheet will make it super simple. I can just use a simple formula and have Excel add it all up for me. Just have to remember to track it!

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  13. oh wow!! that is a strange mix up!! congratulation on an awesome race! I read somewhere that age group awards are given on clock times, not always on chip times... What are you going to do with your medal? you don't have to give it back, do you?

    I once lost out on an AG award, by 1 second and I'm almost sure that if the race was chip time, I would have won the AG award, because the woman who came in front of me, started at the front of the race, and I started in the back... yes, I still think about it...

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    1. Maybe that's what happened? I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not sure the field was big enough for ANYONE to have started a whole minute behind me.

      Hell nah I'm not giving it back. I ran a strong race so I am keeping that shit!

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  14. Something similar happened to me once in a 5K. I "placed" 3rd and got my award, then came home and looked at the results and found out that someone else we knew was ahead of me but somehow her age didn't pick up in the registrations. I let the RD know, and he was understanding... I offered to give my pint glass back, but he had an extra for her and just let me keep it. You still had an awesome race, and you were close to 25 and well under sub-27, so I think you should keep the medal and use it as inspiration to just keep running. As far as the RD goes... I wouldn't blame them too much. I mean, she sounds kind of like a jerk after the tri, but snags happen with awards all the time in races. RDs have a lot going on on race day and mistakes just happen like that. But... congrats on a great race and best wishes in 2017!

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    1. Definitely going to keep the medal! Crazy that you knew the girl, but glad she got her award too. I think winning AG awards is still just so new for me that it is beyond exciting every time it happens, so I would hate for someone to not get that excitement too!

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  15. I didn't, but my husband won the women's 50-59 age group at our local Turkey Trot. Luckily, his name is definitely a male name, so they skipped him when they gave out awards. (I registered him and my computer must have pre-filled with female oops.)

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    1. That's too funny - a friend of mine named Steve once won first overall female. I assume something similar happened to him as well.

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  16. Okay that's wierd tbe told you won the AG and then see something different! But you did run a kick butt race and that is what matters!
    ha, I like the reasoning about the award :) You did earn one you were owed.
    I have won a AG place before when I had a really bad race but there weren't many old ladies that day running LOL I didn't want to take it but I did.

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    1. I sort of hate to win an AG award for a race I didn't run well. Just because not many other people in my age group ran. I mean, I won't say no, I just won't be as excited about it.

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  17. Congrats! That's a great way to close out the year! ;)

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    1. Thanks San! It was the perfect way to sum up 2016 for sure.

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  18. What a great way to end the year! Congrats on your AG placement!

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