Mountain Gallop 5k (21:34)

me mountain gallop 5k

I was excited to run the Mountain Gallop 5k in Tehachapi, CA, mainly because it’s a rare 5k that’s only 50 miles from me and one of the closest towns! We’ve had a busy few weeks and were excited for a mostly low-key weekend without driving into Los Angeles or a bigger city. Do I like doing that? Of course. But it’s unsustainable to do it every weekend (plus it can get expensive with a hotel). Anyway, we decided to do the Mountain Gallop 5k in Tehachapi.

me mountain gallop 5k

Before the Mountain Gallop 5k:

We left the house at 5:15 and arrived at the Mountain Gallop 5k around 6:10. I had planned to do a little longer warmup, but the timing didn’t work out, so I settled on 3 miles and a rough loop of the course. I’m glad I warmed up on the Mountain Gallop 5k course because it was hillier than I expected. Most of the race was in the town (and not the mountains around), but there was still about 150 feet of elevation gain. I also didn’t feel great during the 5k. I met up with my good friend Brittany and chatted before the race was off promptly at 7 am.

Mountain Gallop 5k:

During the warmup, I felt not great. Tehachapi is at 4000 feet elevation. While that’s only another 1000 feet above us, I do feel a noticeable difference at 4000 feet where I don’t look at 3000 feet. It becomes a little harder to breathe, and running feels more challenging. Not to mention, the Mountain Gallop 5k was not flat.

My husband took off during the first mile of the Mountain Gallop 5k. There were about five men in front of me, and I was the first woman overall. I stayed there the rest of the race. I felt pretty good during the first mile and ran better than anticipated. My “goal” was to run as hard as possible, and based on conditions (elevation/hills), I expected that would be about 7 min pace. I ran the first mile of the Mountain Gallop 5k in 6:27!

The second mile began with a long gradual hill, and I started breathing hard. I was “just trying to survive.” A young kid passed me, and I glanced at my watch for a portion and saw: “7:49 pace”. I won’t lie, I was pretty bummed, and I thought I was in better fitness than that. Finally, I reached the second mile, and my watch said 7:17. While not great, I was happy with my effort and more comfortable that it was not 7:49.

I was trying to survive during the last mile of the Mountain Gallop 5k. My body felt like I was red lining it and I was hoping I would not get passed (which has happened to me the last two 5ks). During the last mile, we needed to hop on the sidewalk. I didn’t love it but didn’t want to get hit by a car. I just kept telling myself to keep going. There were some nice downhill and a couple of uphill pieces. Finally, I crossed mile 3 of the Mountain Gallop 5k in 6:49. I was pleased because it’s the first 5k that hasn’t been perfect positive splits.

The last bit was just focused on powering to the end. While I’ve been working on strides towards the end of my runs, I’m not exactly where I want to be just yet and didn’t have the energy to “kick.” I crossed in at 21:40 and was the first woman overall.

Mountain Gallop 5k Thoughts:

I’m happy with my effort. The course map said it was 3.3 miles, but my watch only got 3.16. If I had run a flat and sea-level race, I probably could have run a minute faster, but who knows? That sounds like a lot of “what ifs” but it was a hard course in a challenging area.

In all, happy with my effort, and it was fun to win a race since I haven’t done that in a while. The last few shorter races I’ve done have either been challenging, or I haven’t felt great, so I look forward to running a shorter one when I do.

You can see Strava here and race recaps here.

Questions for you:

What’s the highest elevation race you’ve done?

I once did a 5k in Utah, around 5000 or 6000, and I’ve done a few trail races at a higher elevation.

Do you like 5ks?

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