Race Judicata Race Report

I came away with a win and a Fastest Lawyer title, both unofficial, Thursday night at the Race Judicata—a race to benefit Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.  With the ridiculous heat wave that Chicago just went through, the race was canceled in favor of a 5k charity walk.  However, when this change was announced on Tuesday, Dave Strubbe, a past winner and reigning Fastest Lawyer, talked to me and Derek Holland (another past winner) about it.  We were all still interested in racing, so we decided we would do so in an unofficial capacity as there was no chip timing or places recorded.  Many people still ran instead of walked, and a number (besides the three of us) still raced.

The heat index was 111 in the late afternoon on Thursday, but that was probably down to about 100 by race time at 6:30 p.m.  Even still, pretty brutal racing conditions.  I warmed up for about 10:00 with a few strides and form drills—an abbreviated pre-race routine given the heat.  Weeks ago, I had planned on taking the race out pretty hard.  Based on the recent Elmhurst 4 on the 4th race, I figured I could run around 15:00 or so for 5k right now.  I assumed that would win, so I wanted to just run hard wire to wire.  However, with the heat, I had changed my plan to just hang with the leaders until a half mile to go.  I don't really know why, but when the gun went off, I just abandoned this new plan and reverted to running hard from the start.  This wasn't too bright.

I opened up a decent gap right from the start and cruised through the first mile in 4:47.  This actually felt pretty good, but I could tell I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace in the heat.  Sure enough, I rolled through two miles in 9:50 (a 5:03 second mile) and was hurting pretty bad by this point.  The last mile actually has a couple of little uphills and I slowed down significantly.  There's no third mile split, but my final time was about 15:47 (unofficial).  So I was probably at 15:10 or just under at the third mile, meaning that split was close to a 5:20.  It was an unpleasant way to race.

The unofficial results, as near as we could tell, were as follows:
  • 1st - Matt Flaherty, 15:47
    • Won in 2009 and 2010, attorney at Winston & Strawn
  • 2nd - Derek Holland, 16:32
    • Won in 2007, attorney at Bryan Cave
  • 3rd - Dave Strubbe, 16:40
    • Won in 2008, attorney at Williams, Bax & Saltzman
  • 4th - Brent Chatham, (time?)
    • Summer associate at Leydig, Voit & Mayer and rising 3L at University of Chicago Law School
  • 5th - Chris Wehrman, (time?)
    • Won in 2006, the first year (I think) of the Race Judicata 
So in the top 5 we had all 4 previous race winners.  Dave, Derek, Brent, and I went on a nice cool down around the aquarium after the race.  The post-race party was pretty fun as usual.  There is a pretty decent band that plays until 9:30 or so, and there is free 312 at the beer tent.  Plus free Krispy Kremes (I always eat about five of these) and other food.  It's too bad the race had to be canceled, officially anyway, but I still had a good time and was glad that we still got to race.  Looking forward to the Race Judicata 2012.