Wakarusa Maple Syrup 5k Race Recap

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.IMG_4177

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.13043643_10153417645277854_4497112870188514730_n

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.13043657_10153417670192854_8483123968988656170_n

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.IMG_4164

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.IMG_0565

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!13094393_10208943080398270_6971464506614661974_n

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?


15 thoughts on “Wakarusa Maple Syrup 5k Race Recap

  1. Well done! I think 5ks are made for positive splits haha. I absolutely detest 5ks. I only do parkrun (our weekly 5k event every Saturday) because it’s more of a social gathering than a proper race (parkruns aren’t really described as races anyway). I much prefer a longer amount of time to get into it and get warmed up.


  2. Awesome job! And those positive splits are not bad AT ALL! (I have had some HUGE variance in 5K splits muah ha ha). Do you plan to use that watch approach for your half?

    Ugh, I like how fast 5Ks are over… but man, are they hard. I think my fave distance might be the marathon cause they’re mostly easy miles. HA!!!! Or an ultra, since I can go slow and walk and eat. Yeah, that’s my kind of race!


    • Thanks Kim!
      Hahahaha!! I may need to get into the Ultra game! I love food!
      I think I am going to try to use the no look approach after the first couple of miles just to make sure I don’t go out too fast. Plus, there are 7 downhill miles and I don’t want the faster pace to get in my head. I am worried I may see the numbers and slow down when in reality I would have been ok to continue.


  3. Congrats, that’s awesome! Glad you had a fun and confidence boosting race. For what it’s worth, the weekend before my first half marathon I ran a 5K in like 25:07, and I went on to run the half in 1:56. So I think you can blow your half out of the water!

    I hate the 5K. It is my least favorite distance. I hate having to run at full steam from the get-go. I haven’t raced one since 2014. But my PR was on a course that wasn’t chip-timed, so I kind of feel like I have to run one so I can “officially” beat it.


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