I hadn’t raced a 5k in quite a while. I wasn’t sure how I’d do…turns out I did aight. I didn’t PR, but still had a decent time (for me) – 22:08. Good enough at this race for 5th place overall, 1st in my division!
I wasn’t the only one able to represent – I had a ton of friends who also got medals (too many to give shout outs too here)! Including the overall winner. The best part was that when my friends and I saw each other on various parts of the course, we’d shout encouragement to one another.
I was happy, because if you read my race PREVIEW, then you’d know that I wanted to do well. The reasons are that my friend is the race director, and also because the race supports a good cause – raising money to help those with Dandy Walker syndrome. The race is named for a friend’s daughter who has DW.
Besides the many many friends I knew who were running the race, there were also a bunch volunteering. So I had several great surprises when running along the course I’d see them standing at their station and they’d give me words of encouragement. That was helpful!
The race itself involved a two lap course. I’m not a fan of lap races (it’s always such a tease to pass by the finish line halfway though), but I’ve run this course before, so I was expecting it. It was also super windy – like 35mph gusts, but I was expecting that too. So I did a mile warm up and then did my dynamic stretching drills.
When the race started, people took off sprinting like mad. I’ve run enough races to know that if I remained in control of my pace, that most of those sprinters would soon be behind me. And by the first mile, they were. By now there were the four leaders ahead of me, and I was in a pack with two other dudes. The start of the second lap we hit the wall of wind. I tried to keep my pace into it hoping to pull away from them. I did. A half mile from the finish, a volunteer friend told me I was by myself. But I didn’t want anyone to entertain thoughts of catching me, so I picked up the pace and let the wind help me cruise to the finish!
After, I ran backwards on the course looking for friends to help them finish. I found a few, but then saw one who didn’t have anyone around him. I ran with him to the finish. I thought nothing of it, but he was really appreciative. I’m glad I did it, he finished strong!
My prize for winning my age group was some movie passes and a medal hand painted by a kid with Dandy Walker.
I was fortunate enough to win my age group in this race last year too, so I’m pumped to be able to add another one of their unique medals to the collection. I definitely treasure these ones!!!
How bout you? Ever show up at a race and see a ton of friends there? Do you encourage other runners during a race? How cool is that medal?