This race was a completely last minute decision. My coworker told me this past week that her nephew was organizing this race as a fundraiser for their Relay for Life team. Her nephew, CJ, is only 14 years old! I told her that I’d see how I feel since I had my 15 mile training run on Saturday and didn’t want to over do it. I reached out to her on Saturday night and told her I would go ahead and show up to run. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was happy to support a great cause.
The race was up in Tarentum, PA, (which is about 30m north of me), so of course it was another early morning. I think I was one of the first runners to show up so I just hung out with my coworker and then eventually in my car because it was so windy. It was $25 to register and CJ later announced they were able to raise over $1200 through the race.
Again, I really had no idea what to expect but I was thinking if I could do around 10:15 average, I’d be happy with that. Surprisingly the legs didn’t feel as bad as I thought they might have and they were pretty loose. It’s amazing was proper recovery can do for you after a long run.
Just before 9am, CJ brought us all (maybe 25 runners) to the random start line. It was funny because just as he was getting ready to say go a few of us asked where were we going. There wasn’t a map posted or anything. It ended up being straight up First Avenue with an easy turn around, but a lot of us had no clue. I figured I’d just follow the really fast people and I’d hopefully not get lost.
Again, I really didn’t know how the legs would go, so once the race started, I just ran. I think all of the 12 people actually running the race, took off and it spaced out pretty quickly. Around mile 1, a woman passed me and stayed a good 10 seconds ahead of me the entire race. I ended up chatting with her after the race and she mentioned that she wanted me to slow down because she was pushing herself to the limits. I was mad because she wouldn’t slow down for me to over pass her. We laughed and enjoyed pushing each other though.
The course was very flat, which was nice. I don’t think I could have handled any hills today. At the turn around I counted everyone going back and saw that I was the 4th female and 9th overall. Even if this was a small race with just a handful of runners, being able to see that is of course a big confidence booster. Finally around mile 2.5, I took a peak at my watch and realized my average pace was sub 9! WHOA!
It was at this point where I also could begin to see the finish line and realized this was going to be a short course. I pushed still through to the finish and saw the final mileage on my Garmin was 2.92 miles. I was definitely a little disappointed, but nothing you can do when it’s a little local race. There was no chip timing and definitely not a USTAF certified course, so there wasn’t anything I could. I did chat with another woman and her Garmin came up at 2.98 miles. Of course at the pace I was going, I was hoping to count this as an new 5k PR but in the end, I can’t. At least this gives me the confidence that the speed is in there somewhere and maybe in next race I’ll be able to pull off that big PR.
Once everyone was back in, CJ started to announce awards. I saw they had medals and I figured they’d give either to top M/F or top 3, but they ended up giving to top 10 overall, so I walked away with my 9th place medal! I won’t complain about that.
I loved that I could support my coworker and her family and of course make up from missing the Great Race last weekend. This was race number 24 of the year and only 6 more to go. I walked away a little upset it was only 2.9 miles, but nothing you can do there. More importantly though I walked away pretty excited that I might actually be getting faster.
Official Finish Time:
25:57, 8:53/mile (2.92 miles – Based on Garmin Information)