5K Thirty-One has been run
The quest for 50 5Ks continues. I missed my race in Toronto due to the worse travel experience of my life. Friday night I was looking for 5K races to talk to about “My First 5K” medals and found Hallmark Health System’s
Stride for Healthy Communities
I went on Facebook to see if anyone else was running the race and a friend tried to talk me into doing the Twin-Lobster Half Marathon in Rockport. I declined as I’m not in half-marathon shape, day-of registration was $69.95 and they only had 50 race bibs left.
Being the night before the Hallmark Health race, on-line registration was closed. I would have to do a race day registration and pay $30.00. Not my normal SOP.
Half Marathons have always been my favorite distance and if I was in marathon shape I might have gone to Rockport. This year it’s all about the short distance races.
Off to the races
I had a flier for the race, but it only said Lake Quannapowitt. I’ve run races from at least three different locations along the lake and there are several other good places to stage a race.
I drove by the usual places and looked for signs of a race. I saw runners but no signs, tables or tents. I drove down Rt 129 along the eastern shore of the lake and looked across The Commons on the southern end of the lake, sure enough there were signs of life!
I found a parking spot and headed to the registration tent. This is a local race only in its second year. I was 99.99% sure they would have bibs.
I had no problem registering and because they ran out of shirts, they only charged me $25. They said registrations were almost triple from last year, probably because they added a 5K run.
I headed back to my car, pinned my number and had a few snacks and some water. Around 8:15 I headed back over to The Common for a pre-race jog.
My legs felt wobbly on the gravel trail. My left ankle and achilles were sore. I could feel my heart rate increasing as I made my turn back. This wasn’t looking like a great run.
When I got back to the pop-up tent city, I found a spot to do my stretching. My left knee was tight and I tried to stretch it out without over doing it. Too much time can be a bad thing before a race.
I got a hot coffee from New England Coffee and headed towards the start. I worked on my ankles some more and then lined up.
Runnin’ ’round the lake
I was twenty people back from the start line. The DJ was blasting tunes as the Hallmark Health Care Executive Director tried to make announcements. We never heard him say go, people just started running! I was over the line in no time.
As we headed down Church Street I pulled left and started passing. There were people way out front and people passing with me. We went up and down a small hill and I used both sides to my advantage.
As we turned right onto North Ave there were about 50 people in front of me. We kept pace going up the slight rise in the road. I could hear people breathing really hard. As the rise descended I passed about 15 people before the office park entrance.
I could see an MRC shirt up the road. As we approached the office park drive way I caught up with MRC runner, Kris van Herp. We talked for a bit and I pushed on before we turned onto Quannapowitt Pkwy. I passed a few more people on the Parkway and on the path out to Rt. 129.
I was catching up to the strong runners now and my legs were getting tired. Passing was becoming more difficult, but I managed to pass a few more.
At the end of the lake we took a right onto the gravel path onto The Common. I ran down the hill trying not to slip. I could hear someone coming up behind me. It was Ben Elenbaas all of 12-years old running it in. I passed him on Rt. 129, and he reeled me back in.
Ben finished about 20 feet in front of me. As I ran towards the finish I could see the clock at 22 minutes and change. I didn’t really have a kick, but I was able to maintain my speed.
My time was 22:30 which was good enough for 14th overall and 1st in the M50-59 bracket! When I saw my name on the sheet of paper I was shocked. 14th overall was a little surprising, but first in my bracket was off the charts.
A few thoughts on the year so far
I’ve run plenty of PR’s over the years and have always been buried way down in the results. Being on the first page and in first place is just mind-blowing.
I pick my races primarily based on location and price. The cause that they support is important as is the brewery that supports the runners. I don’t pick races because I think I can do well. It’s never figured into my decisions and it’s not part of my calculus now.
I’m out for a good time, in more ways than one!
My goal is to run 50 5Ks before September 4th 2015. The fact that I’ve won a trophy and a few medals is just the super sweet frosting on the cake.
My motto is, “Running for the fun of it,” and that is what I’m doing. I’m finding those local races that I’ve been looking for and enjoying the events.
I know that each race is a herculean effort supported mainly by volunteers. Without them, races would cost twice as much and there would be fewer of them. I have to commend the community spirit of these people.
Here’s to the volunteers!
Run well and thank a volunteer,