It’s Race Week – Holland, TX 5K

Posted: June 13, 2010 in Pace and Racing
Tags: , , , ,

It’s race week this week as Run for Dom will be taking to the streets of Holland, TX – population 1,115 – on Saturday morning as part of the 36th annual Holland Corn Festival.  We do a lot of things really well here in Texas – but one of my favorite things that helps make such a large place seem much more intimate is the small town festival. 

There is something about seeing small boys and girls decorating their bicycles for a parade, a Main Street overflowing with families, music and of course the smell of barbeque.  My absolute favorite part of the small town festival are the “old-timers”.  I love chatting up a few of the elderly gentlemen who always seem to be at these events sharing stories about the past and how things have changed since “conditioned air”

I like to hear about how towns like Holland who have been celebrating the local cash crop for almost as long as I have been alive have changed over the years, all the while celebrating how much they have stayed the same.  It is good fun for everyone aged 1-100 – and I enjoy being a part of it.

Of course a small town festival would not be complete without a 5K race to kick-off the festivities – and at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning we will be there with our Brooks T6 Racers on our feet looking to run a fast time and hopefully bring home some hardware.

The course is a loop course, an out and back that takes you from Main Street in “downtown” Holland out into the countryside full of corn fields and back.  There are a couple of hills that I would describe as “moderate” mid-course and a slight decline down to the finish line at the end of 3.1 miles.

In 2009 I ran two very technically sound races back to back in May and June.  The 2009 Pittsburgh Marathon 3:17:43 and the Holland, 5K 19:40.  Both remain my PR’s for those two distances.  At Holland last year I posted splits in the 5K of 6:18, 6:17, 6:24 with a closing :41 over the final .10 miles.  I was pretty torched at the end of the race pushing a fast pace over the opening two miles – but all in all that was just about as fast as my then 41 year-old legs could take me.

This year I am a year-older, a year-wiser and a more experienced racer.  I think that the weather on race morning will have as much to do with my chase for a new PR as my fitness level and training will.  The last couple of weeks here in Austin have been very difficult for running.

High morning temperatures and high humidity which just saps your strength and energy.  This Sunday’s run which covered 10 miles was a pretty brutal test of hills, humidity and heat.

Hills:  228 feet of elevation change.

Humidity:  84%

Heat:  80 degrees.

Those conditions conspired to treat me to a time of 1:18:20 (7:50 pace).  One of my “slowest” runs in more than a year, but at the end of a tough seven days of training that included a 5K race on Wednesday night – it was a good run to “finish off” my legs.

This week we will be traveling to Iowa Monday through Wednesday which will hopefully allow for some training in cooler temperatures and then a two-day rest period on Thursday and Friday leading up to race morning in Holland.

I am hoping that the extra rest will help these 42-year-old legs rebound a bit and we can make a run at a new PR on Saturday.  Last year our time was good enough for a first place age-group trophy and a photo with the Holland Cornfest Queen.  I’m hoping for a repeat performance this year – but if that is not in the cards I won’t be too disappointed.

Participants get a Corn Fest T-shirt, a free ear of corn from the Holland Future Farmers of America, Door Prizes and fruit and drinks at the finish.

Best $15 I will have spent in many, many months.

Later in the day there will be a parade, crowning of the queen and duchess, a horseshoe tournament, live music, crafts, barbeque cook-off and of course …. the chicken fly.

I will be posting about the chicken fly next weekend in a post all of its own – as that is something everyone should see at least once.

For a complete schedule of events click here:

So another busy week ahead at Run for Dom – we have a product review on-tap for Tuesday morning, please stop back by for a visit.

  1. Jodi Higgins says:

    Great job out there today Joe! It was pretty humid here this AM as well. I am running my first “race” post marathon next Sunday and am looking forward to it. Can’t wait to read your race report and about this whole “chicken fly” thing…you have me very curious!

  2. joerunfordom says:

    Hi Jodi! It really was pretty brutal out there this morning – but I know it was really good for me and my legs – they worked hard today and that will pay off next weekend for sure.

    So glad to here you are going to be back doing a little “racing” next Sunday – always great to get back out there as I know you feel like you have a little “unfinished business” to take care of. I know you will run great.

    Let’s definitely catch up after next weekend and trade some post-race notes – Can’t wait to hear how you fare. Best from Austin, J

  3. Robert Ranzer says:

    Joe Best of luck on Saturday. Do you throw shoes? I love shoes.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Rob – Thanks for stopping by – great to hear from you. Living down here in TX for awhile I’ve actually grown fond of pitching washers – which is the same concept as horseshoes – but just a bit of a different twist.

      Same type of scoring – but you are pitching a large washers into a slightly smaller hole (pipe) that is flush with the ground in a pit.

      Lots of skill involved and a lot of fun – definitely worth a “google” – you get down to Austin and I’ll take you Washer Pitching and out for BBQ – definitely worth the trip! J

  4. Connie says:

    Joe Don’t want you to think I forgot about you. I could never do that.
    I just never have anything to say because I don’t understand all that talk about running. I was so stupid I thought you just got out there and ran. Got Renee’s update about Dom. Talked to Helen Val’s sister so I am keeping informed. Don’t forget my email address for next year so I can help you out if you are running. I’ll keep in touch for when the baby comes. Told Renee I can’t believe the respect I have for the three of you and never even met you all.
    All three of you are “WINNERS”

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Connie! Thanks so much for stopping by to say “Hi”! So great to hear from you. I will be sure to reach out to you if, (more like when) we tee it up again for Dom and the family – I’ve got a few ideas “brewing” right now – but we’ve got to get this little baby into the world and acclimated to the “Marruchella way of life” before the boss (Dawn) will let me start training again in a serious way.

      Thank you so much for all the kind words and support – you are the greatest Connie. I’ll make sure to mix in some more Dom and baby information to the running posts in the coming months – never a lack of things to talk about these days that is for sure.

      Best from Cedar Rapids, IA this morning. Joe

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