The UCSD Triton Cup 5K took place on June 8, 2013. This was the first event the San Elijo Hills Running Club entered, with club members John and Zach competing under the club's colors. Hats off to UCSD, this was a wonderful event to run in and the vibe was fantastic. The race itself is a USAT&F certified course consisting of a relatively flat circuit that takes the runners around the campus. I paced Zach throughout the race and he received many compliments from the other runners both during and after the race.
Zach and I started at the front, behind the eventual race winner. I told Zach to go hard the first 100 meters, in order to get out front and avoid the need to pass runners. Next time, I'll need to refine my advice, as Zach sprinted the first 100 meters in probably 16 seconds. I got caught behind a few runners and it took me a bit to catch up and tell him to slow down. This explosion probably dented his time a bit, but Zach was still able to finish 103rd overall in 20:43.4 or a 6:41 mile pace, a personal best for Zach.
John, Kat, King Triton and Zach post-race
Throughout the race, I provided a steady stream of instructions and motivation to Zach. Perhaps the easiest thing a young runner can do is take the take the shortest path and find the correct line, e.g., rather than run on the outside curve, run on the inside and save a step or two. I also encouraged Zach to let gravity help him and to open his stride when going downhill. To that end, I told Zach that he was in a raft and all he needed to do was float down the hill. All in all, the purpose of the run was for Zach to have fun and become comfortable in race situations. We succeeded on both counts and Zach and I are looking forward to running it next year.