Saturday's five miler included a trip to Chester, IL for the 31st Annual Popeye 5-K run. This is easily one of the best runs in the area with approximately 300 runners pre-registered. After a few select photographs, the warm up process began. I felt great and decided to check the engines on mile one and see what I had in the tank. I couldn't have asked for better. The course consists of an out and back in both directions. You start out going north, circle the high school and head back south through the start finish area (where they announce your name). You then proceed south before turning around in front of the court house to once again head back to the finish. You are for the most part either going slightly uphill or slightly downhill the entire way.
I kicked out Mile One in 7:38. I pushed through Mile Two in 8:19. This put me at the two mile mark in 15:57. I was pretty pleased. On Mile Three, I faded a little back to 8:47 (most likely due to the uphill stretch after turning around at the court house) followed by the 46 second finish on the final tenth of a mile. Over all--25:31. Good for my best 5-K of the year. Not bad considering I hadn't pre-registered and didn't decide to go until 9:45 p.m. Friday night.
Now for the trip home. We stopped to eat at one of my favorites. Al's Place in McBride, MO. Hole in the wall doesn't describe it. I first discovered this fine establishment in the summer of 1991 when I worked for Pepsi Cola. This place is GREAT. They even catered our Family Christmas meal one year. It was amazing.
The left side of the building also doubles as the community Post Office. The sign fell down a few years back and is propped up near the left corner of the building.
You quickly grasp the concept of atmosphere when you walk in the front door and just to the right are the bathrooms. It often confuses occasional city folk who stumble into the place unknowingly.