I registered for my first 5k with my friend Maggie, just a few weeks after I started running outside. I was a little nervous, not so much about the distance, but more about not knowing what to expect at a race.
The race was on December 5, 2010. It was to benefit Run over Cancer, an organization that helpfs families suffering from the disease to pay their bills. The website mentioned costumes, so we decided to go with a candy cane theme, complete with candy cane striped tights and red and white shorts. But once we got to the race, I was surprised to see that there were not many costumes at all – we definitely stood out!
It was so cold that morning. We got out of the car to get our packet, and then went straight back to the car to stay warm until the race. I was glad we had the tights on, but I decided that I was going to wear my sweatshirt too.
We had about a quarter mile walk to the start line. There were no chips at this race, but we hung back a bit to let the more serious runners go first. It wasn’t long before we were off! The first mile was a little slow (10:42), as people were weaving in and out. We sped up a bit during the second mile, and started passing a few people here and there. I also took my sweatshirt off during the second mile.
About halfway through the course, the high school cheerleaders were lined up, cheering as the runners went by. With no other spectators on the course, it was fun to have a bit of encouragement. The final 1.1 miles were our fastest. I got excited as we got closer to the finish line. We tried to run hard for the last quarter mile or so (according to my Garmin) and then I realized that we still had a ways to go to the finish line – I think the course was a little long.
The finish line was fun – there were a lot of spectators for the last little bit, and everyone was cheering. I’ll admit, I’m embarassed to have a crowd watching me run, but at the same time it was really exciting! There was also a camera… I was aware of the camera, but wasn’t sure if I was supposed to smile or ignore it, and I think I ended up doing both. No way am I paying $30 for this picutre!
My official time was 31:42. I stopped my Garmin when I thought I had hit 3.1 miles, and according to my Garmin it was 31:40, so it wasn’t far off! The splits:
- Mile 1: 10:42
- Mile 2: 10:10
- Mile 3.1 pace: 9:42
- Total: 31:42 (10:13 pace)
I’m excited for my next race!