Memorial Day Weekend Results: Grafton 5k

Mike Schaefer took third overall at the Grafton 5k this Saturday, where the course and the field were split by a train! Although Mike tried hard to guilt other team members to join him– he said, “It benefits the Grafton firefighters, so if you don’t run, and my house ever burns down, you might feel bad”– he was the lone representative of SSSMST and only one of 5 to finish without being stopped by the train. He wrote a bit about his effort to get across the tracks in front of a speeding locomotive– check it out!

A large locomotive interrupted the Grafton 5K today, luckily, I was one of only 5 people to get across the tracks before it came… I felt great early-on, so ran the first mile in ~6:20, and the second in ~6:50 (pretty fast for me..) and I passed 2 people just before the 2 mi mark to move into 3rd place. Then it got interesting… I could hear the train coming just after the 2mi mark, so started incrementally picking up the pace over the next 1/4 mi as it sounded like the train was really coming fast! The legs were really burning as I approached the tracks, but I didn’t dare slow down. I got to within about 40meters when the bell starting ringing, so I really ran hard and had to duck to get under the 1st set of gates, and veer left get by second set. Still had good adrenaline going for another 50meters, then and I finally slowed and turned around to see the 4th and 5th place guys weaving thru the gates with the train almost on top of them. Part of me said “DAMN! They made it”, and the other part said “DAMN! that was too CLOSE!!!) From the looks of things, it was going at least 45mph.
Then the lactic acid set in, and really tied things up for the last 1/2 mile. I slowed things down for 200meters to re-group, then kicked just hard enough to hold off the other 2 guys for 3rd overall. It was fairly difficult, but I think they were more gassed than I was.. (although they probaby had more adrenaline!). The overall winner (one of my high-school track teammates) said he talked with the organizers afterward about a better loop for next year that would avoid crossing the tracks.
The turnout was great for a first-annual event, and prizes, shirts and goodies were good (I won a nice dufflebag for 3rd). I didn’t hear a single person complaining about the train. One of the top-ten guys said he was ready for a break after 2.5 miles anyway!
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