The 5K Challenge Continues
On Sunday, June 14th I ran Samantha’s Harvest 5K in Reading, MA.
This was the second year for this race that benefits local charities that support families and individuals with Down Syndrome. Find out how you can help. Last year the had a 5K walk and attracted about 80 walkers. With the addition of the 5K Run they had 152 walkers and runners.
It was great to hear how much more successful they were in their second year by adding the running event.
I’m proud to say that the male and female winners were both from Melrose. Mike Sikkema came in at 19:36 and Emily McDivitt came in at 22:13.
The course was complex with many turns that most of us were unfamiliar with. At one turn our course marshal was not paying attention. As a result the lead group went straight instead of making the left hand turn. Even though this instantly put my in 3rd place overall, I was furious. All of the runners around me were upset.
The lead pack was off to who knew where. If any of us won the race, what would it mean? Even though we were not cheating, the leaders were getting robbed. There were many mixed emotions as we pushed ahead.
It turns out that they only ran an extra 0.20 miles and they still won! Anyone who runs a 3.3 mile 5K and still wins deserves double kudos.
5K Challenge in the heat
Just like the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge, Samantha’s race was very hot. This time we had full sun for most of the race and an occasional breeze. I actually ran with a water bottle even though it was only a 5K. I’m glad I brought it.
I had no intention of running a competitive race. I wanted to run well but did not feel 100% before the race. I ended up coming in 16th overall at 23:13 and second man in my age group.
My goal is the 21 minute 5K. This goal has proven elusive even as I have focused on the 5K the past 10 months. My times are clustered around 22 minutes, but 21 remains a goal. 23:13 was way off what I have been running. I think the heat and my intensified running schedule both played a part.
As I waited to see everyone else finish the race a young girl came running by and everyone started cheering “Samantha!” I don’t know if Samantha ran the entire 5K, but she did run in the finish. She seemed very excited.
During the awards ceremony Samantha was in charge of handing out the awards to each of the winners.
Mystic Runners Running The Q 5K
The Mystic Running club holds a timed 5K every Wednesday evening in Wakefield on the lake. Regardless of the weather they run. Sounds like Melrose to me, or maybe all runners. Weather be damned!
There were probably 50-60 runners on yet another warm June evening in Mass. I started near the back of the pack and just wanted to finish. As soon as I started running my left Achilles began to bark and howl. About a quarter-mile into the run things began to work themselves out and I was able to get up to a respectable pace.
As we took the turn down Lake Q Parkway I began to feel the competitive juices flowing. My aches and pains were subsiding and the beast inside was awakening. I had to run in the road to pass and avoid running into people. I had hit cruising speed and it felt great.
Just like Samantha’s Harvest, I had no illusion of winning or placing well. But something took over. I felt good. It felt good. I could move at a speed I felt comfortable with and comfortable doing. I had no intention of going balls to the wall, as they say.
It was just running for the fun of it. I experienced the motion of running and it was delicious. It was sweet. It was the joy of motion and of being alive.
I ended up passing all kinds of runners. The forward motion was compelling and I could not resist to run full-out. It’s in my nature.
No awards, no announcements. Just the joy of a good run. That’s living my friends.
Run well my friends and live your weekend.