This last Saturday was the 29th annual Wisner Fire & EMS Leprechaun run. They had 2.2 mile, 5 kilometer and 5 mile runs as part of the St Patrick's day weekend celebrations. I had never been to Wisner, NE but there were no other good runs that weekend so we made the drive. The weather was questionable - only about 32 degrees and windy at the start. I got in a good warmup and luckily the race did not begin until 12 noon.
I stepped into the little community center to use the bathroom quickly before the start and overheard a few fellow runners speaking about how they need to get shoes with the most cushioning possible, because their feet need it if they run over 10 miles... I figured I should stay out of it and kept to myself, glancing down at my wierd VFF Sprints with Injinji socks underneath. Not much cushioning here but I'm doing fine with 50-70 miles per week.
The race director gave some instructions on where to go- everybody started and finished in the same spots. The first turnaround was for the 2.2 mile race, the second was for the 5k and the last was for the 5 mile race. My wife and I had both chosen to run the 5 mile race. At the start I was feeling very loose and must have actually warmed up properly for once. I got to the front of the pack and started running hard. I chatted with another runner for a minute about the VFFs - he told me that he has a pair but only wears them on the treadmill. I told him he should try wearing them outside!
I got through the first 2 miles in about 11:50 and did not realize that the wind was pushing me until the turnaround, about 2.5 miles in... The return trip was brutal- into the wind for the whole last half of the race. I think I ran about 6:00 pace for the first half and 6:30 for the second half. I was in second place virtually the whole time- the guy ahead of me somehow ran faster after the turnaround and sped ahead of everybody. He finished in 28:53 and I came in second at 31:22, around 6:16 pace. I was happy, especially with all of that wind. I even got my first trophy- with the little plastic running guy on top. Awesome. After I finished the runner that I had talked to came up and was asking me how much I run in my VFFs - I told him that anytime I'm outside I'll run in them, or barefoot. He told me that they give him blisters on his big toes due to the seams - I told him that he needs to get a pair of the Bikilas (if they ever come out) because they are completely seamless!
After the race we got our free $2 steak sandwiches. Yes; you read that right.