My very first 5K + 10,000 people = A very terrified Jodi.
Luckily I was surrounded by friends and family that kept me entertained enough that I didn’t have time to really
completely obsess think about it.
However, I did have time to think about it when we spent over an HOUR in the starting chute.
I hate to start off my first 5K race recap (and only second race recap ever) with something negative, but there’s just no avoiding it. It seemed that they were really unorganized right from the start. I know that the event was supposed to be a fun-run and really laid back, but I thought it would still be well run considering the amount of people. Then again, it was my first real race so who am I to judge? I’m sure I’ll revisit my statements in this report many times in the coming years and think that it wasn’t too terribly ran after all.
The first thing I noticed as we were walking up was the mob of people at the registration booths. Everyone in our group had already picked up their packets the week before, but were still told by an attendant that we would need to stand in line. We were all just standing around talking anyway (we had gotten there almost an hour early because we thought parking was going to be a nightmare) so we didn’t think much of just shifting over a few feet to the line. Of course, it turned out that we didn’t need to stand in the line after all. Slightly annoying, but not something I would have pointed out had everything else been great.
The next issue was the starting chute. Apparently they had some sort of a snafu (still not sure what happened) that caused them to delay several waves. The official start time was supposed to be 8AM, but we didn’t cross the starting line until 9:15! I’m not sure about you, but my legs get super sore just standing around on pavement. There was no room to move around and we had no idea when or where we would be starting so we couldn’t walk away and come back. Several people around us started to complain and I saw several just leave the pack (not sure if they came back – but it seemed like they were gone for good).
Our wave finally got to go and we took off. My Dad and I started out at a brisk walk and I knew from my training walk with Erin that there was a slight hill at the very beginning. After standing around for so long I wanted to make sure that I stretched my legs out before I started running at all. After we warmed up a bit we picked up the pace. We ran almost the whole way to the first color station and then came to a dead stop.
I had read to be aware of the bottle-necking that could take place at the stations, but I had no idea it would be this bad. It took us a good 5 minutes to walk through each station and took quite a bit of distance off because I stopped my watch each time so as not to mess up our pace. I had considered just running past everyone, but I wanted to have fun as well as have a good pace, so we stopped and got doused (even though you can’t tell it from my after picture). Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures during the race itself because I didn’t want to carry my phone through that mess. Next time I think I’ll buy a disposable digital camera because it would have been really fun to capture all the people throwing the color. Most of the attendants at the stations just picked up color and kind of lobbed it in the general direction of the runners, but there were a few that were really into it and those stations were definitely the most fun!
It started to get really hot and the last half of the course was mostly in the sun. I also hadn’t drank enough water beforehand because I didn’t want to have to worry about finding a bathroom halfway through (and I’m so glad I didn’t after the starting line debacle!) I was really fighting to push through that last mile and when we made our last turn I was happy to see that it was the worst bottleneck of the race at the last color station. It gave me just what I needed to finish strong!
As a reminder my goals were:
A. Finish in under 45 minutes
B. Maintain a sub 15 minute mile on each mile
C. Don’t die
I know our distance is a little off, but I’m happy to report that I met all my goals! (Ignore the time on the watch as well, it stays on Central time. It’s been messed up for a while and won’t even keep accurate distance at this point so I guess it’s time for a new one!)
Overall, even with all the random issues, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe it was the adrenaline or just all the love and support that I received from my friends and family, but it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had. I was so incredibly proud of everyone! It was slightly irritating in the beginning, but the feeling I had crossing that finish line made it all go away.
The amazing snow cone afterwards also helped.
Currently, I don’t have anything planned until the Capitol City River Dash in September (my first mud run!) but I think I’m going to see if there are any other local races that might be a little smaller.
Here’s just a little snippet of the day in pictures.
“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” ~Priscilla Welch