So this Saturday sees the second race in the RFYL Grand Prix series, the Skyline 5k, starting and finishing next to CPCC campus. You may recall that in the first race of the series I placed 3rd in the Shamrock 4 Miler, about 10 hours after I had run my 5k PR at UNCC the night before. I was pretty impressed with myself at the time but my calf wasn’t and it dinged my training for a few days, no doubt a contributory factor in my disappointing Richmond showing 2 weeks later.
Fast forward a few weeks and here we are with the second race. Training since Richmond seems to have gone okay, nothing spectacular, just grinding out the workouts and ticking over, probably no fitter than I was, so not expecting all that much at the weekend, just enjoying the races at the moment, bigger fish to fry later in the year.
So if I can get in the top 3 again at this race I would definitely take it. I rate this as one of the faster Grand Prix 5ks and with it being run in April normally the temps are also pretty good (the current forecast for Saturday is favourable).
Now for most races coming top 3 isn’t that significant, as the prizes generally go 5 deep and aren’t that much to talk about anyway. Skyline is different though as the top 3 only all win a framed print of, you’ve guessed it, the Charlotte Skyline. It’s one of those prizes that the other half likes so there is extra pressure on coming top 3!
I have run this race for 4 of the past 5 years and have only one print to show for my efforts- a third place in my first ever Skyline race back in 2006! Since then Lisa has been on at me to get another one (the one I have was taken on a cloudy day and has lots of cranes in the picture!) but for one reason and another I haven’t been able to notch one!
2007 I ran a great race in 15:57 defeating local luminaries Robert Miller, Ed Schlichter and Chris Lamperski but still managed to place 4th. A certain Tim Budic had just arrived on the scene and took the victory ahead of Wingate stud Jayce Watson and Bob Marchinko (probably his first Grand Prix race defeat in about 5 years!). Side note: this was the race that I met Tim at. At the awards ceremony we got talking, found out we both had young families and arranged to meet up for a run in Mcalpine the next morning. I was excited to meet a potential new training partner and got to the appointed location in plenty of time. Tim was about 10 minutes late and I was just about to head home disappointed when he came sprinting towards me full of apologies and assuring me that he would never be late for a run again (he wasn’t!!)
The following year I placed 4th again! Bob had his revenge on Tim and Chris ran a strong race for third.
In 2009, things were looking good for a top 3 finish. Training had been going well, Tim had moved back to Cleveland, Bob had ‘retired’ from the Grand Prix scene, a print was there for the taking. Unfortunately my calf had better ideas. During a pre race run on the course two days before the event, my calf gave out on me and I was only able to track the race from home as sure enough the race was won in 16:33 and third was 16:45. A missed opportunity indeed….
Finally, last year I ran a solid enough race but all the horses turned up- Kinley, Compton, Matena, Hovis- and I had to settle for 5th place.
This year I know Compton is out of town, Nick Frank who placed ahead of me in the first GP race I assume will be there, Ben will be there and Brian who was behind me at Shamrock but has since run a low 16 5k PR and appears to be in great shape will be there. Plus you always seem to get a ‘surprise’ runner who you haven’t accounted for turning up. I’ll let you know on Saturday whether Lisa was happy with my performance or not…..