I first found out about this race when reading Mark’s race recap Thursday. I usually don’t do race day sign ups, let alone run a 5k. But, I had been looking for one to run recently and this wasn’t too far away. Friday night I still wasn’t sure if I was going to run this or not, so when I woke up at 5:10am Saturday without using an alarm or anything, I assumed that was a good sign that I should. I got up, checked the weather, got changed and woke up Dare. I knew he would go with me to cheer me on but not run. He had a track meet Friday and one on Monday so I was not going to let him race. We left the house at about 6:15 to head down to Wakarusa.
It was about an hour drive and the race started at 8 so I had only 45 minutes to register, use the restroom and get warmed up. Since this was the first year they had this race I didn’t know what the turnout would be but there ended up being quite a few people rolling in. I would assume around a 100 or so. As I warmed up and stretched out my legs I told Dare that I really didn’t feel like racing. I hadn’t run a 5k in over a year, the last one was Frosty 5k in Feb 2015, and if you know me at all you know that I. Hate. 5k’s. I would rather run slightly hard for longer than hard for a short period of time. So I was mentally ready to just relax and have fun running. I also decided I was not going to look at my Garmin while I ran.
At 7:50 we headed to the starting line, they explained the course (3 out and backs) and said a prayer. I had lined up 3rd row back and was calm as could be. Right at 8, they counted down 3-2-1-go…and we were off.
The race started off heading down heading out of Memorial Park on a road about 3/4 of a mile, down and back up a very very small hill, around median and then back the way we came. At the turn-around I was watching the people in front of me and knew I was in good position. I felt like I was running a good pace but not looking at my Garmin at all. I felt like I was working but not struggling in any way. Mile 1 came and went, I resisted temptation to look when I heard the beep.
We turned left onto the road we had come from and I could see Dare. At this point I took off my ear cover (as it was warming up nicely in the sun) and threw it at him. We then headed into a cul-de-sac and went around a cone and back out. To me this portion seemed like it was only there to add mileage. Once again, I got a good look at the women in front of me (and behind) which helped me feel a little more confident about where I was.
The course then headed back to the park where we started and down a paved path. Mile 2 beeped and once again I resisted the urge to look. We continued down the path until turning for another out and back. A volunteer said ‘just a mile left’ as I ran by and I was happy to think about that. I knew I would be done soon but also thought I was running fairly slow and not going to run the time I wanted. So I just tried to keep the pace I had been running and continued on. At the turn around point here we went into a parking lot and around a grass section. I got to see how far the next female was behind me and knew that I was solidly holding my position as long as I kept my pace.
The last half mile went back onto the path and around the park. I saw Dare and could hear him cheering for me. I knew I had to run 10 miles the next day so I just held my pace and didn’t try to kick.
I crossed the finish line hearing the woman reading off times say “24:50”???? My first thought was no way! Couldn’t be! I quickly paused my Garmin and looked….sure enough it said ’24:51′. Wow! I didn’t expect that! So I looked into it a little further of course…
Mile 1: 7:46
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 8:09
Running a positive split in a 5k for me is normal, but I am happy with my overall time. I have only run a handful of 5k’s in the past as an adult so this is actually a new PR. I beat my old one by 54 seconds! I will take that any day of the week. To make things even better I finished as the 3rd woman overall also! Dare was really excited about this because it meant I got one of the bigger bottles of Maple Syrup!
Overall, I thought this race was great! They did a great job getting people there and involved for a first year small town event. I wish the course had a little more variation but loved the fact that I came in at 3.11 so they did get the distance spot on!! They also did a great job with the snacks and water! They offered a ton of bananas, water and cookies. I will hopefully be back for this one again next year!!!
On a side note this race did help boost my confidence. I have been concerned with my fitness lately and when running this race I always felt like I had one more gear I could kick into. So to feel like that and PR, I am a happy lady!
Do you like 5k’s? What is your favorite distance?