Each summer Arizona Road Racers (ARR) puts on a series of 5K's throughout Phoenix called the Summer Series. These races are very popular attracting up to 1000 runners. The first race of the series is a handicap start and I was to start 11:30 minutes after the start. A handicap start allows younger and older people to get a head start. I saw one lady out there clad in a tall red, white and blue hat in a walker. Way to go! The guy who won the race (first to cross the finish line) was in his 60's with a 19 something time. The faster person finished in 16:15.
With a handicap start there is a lot of confusion and pushing to get up to the start. I entered the corral about 9 minutes after the start and it took 4 minutes to weasel my way up to the start. People were just lined up at the start not letting other runners through. Once you start you are weaving your way through the slower people and also being passed by the faster runners with later starts. A couple times I had to almost stop to run around a runner who out of the blue stopped in front of me. It's an out/back course and you have to be careful to stay on your side of the path otherwise you'll collide with another runner.
My chip time was 23:39, which is close to what I wanted to do. My splits were 7:28, 7:30, 7:33. Next 5K I'd like to see more consistency with the splits and not feel so tired the last mile. I need to keep my goal in sight which is to stay conditioned during the summer so I can get a PR in the 5K in the fall.