On February 14 I ran the Willits Classic 5k Valentine’s Day run. I went in being the female winner in 2015 and really wanted to win again, though I tried to keep this to myself. I hadn’t been training as hard as I should and so I wasn’t sure how it would go.
Luckily this race starts a little later so I didn’t have to be up too early. I carpooled with my friend Alex and we got there about a half hour before the race started. We did some warm-up sprints, stretches and strides and then lined up. The weather was perfect, almost too hot! I loved it.
The race began right at 10:30. I started out conservatively, but soon realized I was out front. The course itself was fairly flat and well tailored to my style of running. When I saw a girl gaining on me, I picked up the pace. Throughout the race I tried to maintain a steady speed and thankfully was able to run a 23:31 race and a 7:35 minute mile pace to get the win for the second straight year.
Overall Female Winner – Willits Classic
I was able to come away with the win by a few seconds and it felt great! Honestly, I think it renewed my passion for speed work. I had been doing a lot more hill training and speed work over the last few months and definitely noticed how much it helped me to be able to push hard at the finish. I even ran 2 minutes faster than last year’s pace.
I really enjoyed this race, the atmosphere and finish. The people, food and race are always well run and great for families as well as new and seasoned runners.
Below is a little write-up on the race from the Willits Weekly paper in case you want to read more about the race and prepare to come run with me next year!