Just like last year, I started new year's day with a new 5k PR! If you're in the Portland area, I highly recommend the First Run. The music might be a little loud for my taste, but it's a great party before and after, a mass countdown to midnight, and you start the year off right with a flat, fast race!
Last year the route was super flat, just an out-and-back on Naito (the main road on the west side of the river). There was a snafu with that, though - during the race a train crossed the road, and stopped runners for about five minutes. My friend Karey was one of those stopped. This year, the course crossed Naito, but then went onto the river path, across a bridge, along the river path on the east side, and back across the river. I was a bit worried about the bridges, not being sure how high we'd have to go, but it actually was a lot flatter than I anticipated!
After coming close to my existing PR (34:11, from last year's First Run) at the Holiday 5k a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to get it at this one! Abe knew he wouldn't get a new PR (his is 19-something, I think he said), but he still came in at a very respectable 22:19!
Although not a big race (under 1,000 people) there was still a bit of congestion during the first mile (11:07 pace). As we all spread out, I ended up running near a pair of giggly teenage girls. The middle of the race I kept my pace up by being motivated to get away from them (10:45 pace). I got a bit tired as we had to go up a bit of a slope for the second bridge, but only took one very brief walking break (10:57 pace). The final stretch included some rocky grassy area through the park, to make a little loop (to add up to the total mileage, I guess), but I still kept the pace up (9:22 pace, I think, for the final 0.1 - my Garmin actually measured short, so I'm not sure).
New PR: 33:32!