So, after my little running debacle during the 5K for Values some weeks back, I was looking forward to a little racing normalcy. You can bet that for this 5K I diligently went on the specified day to pick up my race bib and race pack. My bib by the way...
Because you know, I'm only half evil. (insert drum fill) Which means I'm half good which is a good thing. Along with my bib, they gave a children's book for each of my daughters which I sure wasn't expecting but man, what a nice touch. This 5K has developed a reputation for being very well organized and I have to say it did not disappoint at all. Packet pick was fast and efficient and the race was very well put together.
This race is organized by a local church to fund a program of theirs called Community Center which provides aid to children, especially in the academic area. When you sign up for the race, you are essentially running (or walking) for one of the kids in the program. Pretty neat.
The course by the way, was no joke. A classic out-and-back through an avenue that can best be described as seriously undulating with two particular hills that I will never forget (especially if I run this again next year). Plus, the turnaround point is right in front of a Starbucks. What is this? A race or a medieval torture chamber? The smell alone will kill you with temptation.
Probably my favorite part of the race was the start. The organizers were very strict with corral placement and for the most part people complied with the signs and instructions. The result? A very rare occurrence during a race: A pleasant start. The runners spread out very quickly after the gun went off with hardly anyone blocking other runners. With the one glaring exception of a particular group walking 6-wide at very start, everyone managed to find their space and their groove very quickly.
Meanwhile, I was trying my best to not blow everything at the beginning and pace myself accordingly. Then came that first hill and I started wishing for an extra lung. It was tough. Many were walking up but I managed to "run" the whole hill. Of course, what comes up must come down so right before the turnaround point you go down steeply, only to go back up to take the second hill. So right as you are basking in the smell of roast coffee and wishing you were in the Starbucks terrace sipping a latte, you begin a pretty steep climb. A quarter of the way up though I decided to walk the rest of the hill. Bad idea. Once I stop like that it's very hard to sustain continuous running so after starting back up and cresting the hill, I had to walk a couple of more times and with that I made it all the way to the finish line.
As I crossed, I saw the time clock so I knew I had achieved another sub-40 which is the only official goal I had for this race. What I was surprised to find out later when I uploaded my Garmin data, was that I managed to pull off a negative split. By a hair mind you, but a negative split nonetheless. I found this this extremely amusing as I didn't think I had run consistently enough, especially with the walking, to pull that off. Net time: 38:16
It's official: 5K's is my least favorite distance. Whoever spread the rumor that it's easy to run a 5K because "it's only 3 miles" clearly doesn't run and should be made to run this particular course on an endless loop. I'm having a really hard time dropping my time in this distance. The fact is that you gotta run pretty fast to ace this race and I'm not a fast runner by along shot. Thankfully, any given week you can pick from running 10 different 5K's on this island so I got plenty of chances to improve.
All in all, it was a very good race and very well organized and me being a runner, you know all that torturous account means that in a sick, twisted way I had fun running it. Plus, for a 5K, the bling is pretty sweet and unique.