When I heard about this inaugural 5K race my high school alma mater was putting on a few months ago, I decided to make it fit into my schedule. (Our mascot is actually the roadrunner, so a 5K seems like a natural fit.) If you’ve been paying attention, my 2013 schedule went to hell in a handbasket in March and especially April. I almost decided to DNS this race earlier in the week, but on Thursday my sister told me she had registered for the race, too, so I changed my mind back. Registration was $30 + $3 online fee, so I’m glad I didn’t just toss the money away.
I have to say for an inaugural race, the alumni coordinator did a great job. Packet pickup was at Nazareth for four hours on Saturday as well as during a brief window on race morning. Since everyone could park their cars in the school lot and the race started on campus there was no gear check. The t-shirts are well-designed although they are cotton. We also scored simple, yet decent drawstring bags.
The weather was sunny and a little chilly at 37 degrees at 8:30 this morning, still I’d consider the conditions only a mild shade below ideal. I wore long pants, a long sleeve base, short sleeve top, head warmer and gloves. I was never cold and don’t remember overheating.
Just under 140 runners and walkers gathered at the start line. Someone led the group in static stretches. Oh no no no. My sister and I stood to the side and did some dynamic stretching instead. Yikes.
The course wound through the neighborhood just east of the school. I don’t think any of the neighbors knew a race was going to happen. We saw lots of surprised people walking their dogs and hardly anyone was outside cheering for us like I’ve seen during other races in La Grange. Still, it was very peaceful and serene — things I definitely appreciated this morning, even for a race. Most of the streets were closed to traffic, but not all of them. I had to stop and wait for a car to pass once before crossing a street. It was funny to see the reaction of the driver and passenger as they realized they were driving through a live race. That probably added an extra ten seconds to my time, but I wasn’t too competitive this morning, so no big deal. At the end, my Garmin read 2.96 miles, but my sister’s GPS said 3.3 miles. This wasn’t a USATF event (yet?), so who knows what the course really was. 5K-ish was ok for me. I had no strategy again today. Just run when I could and walk when I needed to. I am definitely out of shape, but still performed pretty well.
I was kind of hoping to see some Nazareth people along the course — like the pom squad or the band or a few of the sports teams. Nada. There were some volunteers cheering us on, but none where the course turned! Thank goodness I wasn’t too far away from other runners and didn’t get lost.
There was a well-staffed water station at the halfway point — nice.
At the finish line there was a hill. Argh! So mean. After the finish line was one of the nicest spreads I’ve seen in a while. Tons of bottled water, clementines and bananas from Trader Joe’s, a variety of half bagels, Otis Spunkmeyer muffins, Pecan twists and some donuts. I took my fair share of most of the selections. Tried to stay away from the sugary stuff, but I did claim a chocolate muffin. Yum!
Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize any alumni from my time at Naz. Boo. Maybe next year.
This was a nice small race, and even though the most exercise I’ve had in the past two weeks was six minutes on a bike, I still finished sub-40 and matched my time from my January 5K at 38:51. 🙂 I think that’s a decent point for me to be at and am really looking forward to slicing a few minutes off that time by the summer.
Hopefully this week I can squiggle back into a normal workout schedule. I’ve missed running and cycling and yoga — no, really I have! Although I walked a lot during the race, I pushed pretty hard during my running intervals. I felt pretty good post-race so I feel like I am finally getting incrementally better at this whole thing. 🙂
All of the pics in this post are by my mom except for the packet pic. She is becoming quite the race photographer. 🙂