My wife registered for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) 5k this weekend. Of course it was a race, but the proceeds benefit this charity. Specifically, the beneficiary was Boston Children’s Hospital. I hadn’t known much about what CMN does, but seems like they help a lot of kids and parents with diagnosis, research, and treatment of rare diseases. You could of course feel good about your donation to the charity.
This past week, however, everyone in our house (except for me) has a nasty cold. So, thankfully, we were able to transfer my wife’s registration to me. I hadn’t been planning on doing any more races this year, but it was only a 5k. It was awesome to have my family there to cheer. I won the men’s 30-39 age group, was the third overall male, and fourth overall finisher with a time of 22:18. Read on for more on how it went.
How it Went
I knew based on last year’s results I needed to run something in the neighborhood of 23:00 to win my age group. Given how I really only train for distances over about 7 miles, I wasn’t expecting much for true speed. This race had both a 5k and 10k distance. The 10k racers went off at 10:00 a.m. Between the 10k start and our start for the 5k at 10:15, I had a short warmup to open up the legs.
It was in the low 50’s for the race and the rain had just stopped before the race started. I went with a T-shirt and shorts. There were many people with long sleeves and tights. I find that is way too much clothing for races when temps are in the 50’s. I was rather comfortable during the race.
The course left from the Pawtuckaway State Park picnic area, went to the entrance of the park and turned around. This was an out and back run. The 10k racers shared the first half of the course and continued straight where the 5k racers turned into the finishing chute. I lined up roughly 3-4 rows deep of people but wasn’t worried about position. The gun went off and after dodging around a few people, I found myself in about 10th place on the course. Wow, the joys of small races. We saw the first 10k guy going the other way shortly after we started. I knew the middle of the course from mile 1 to 1.5 miles were the only major hills. In longer races, I take hills in stride. In a 5k though, you need to push them…hard. I ran the first mile sub 7:00 knowing the hill would slow me down.
By the time I got to mile 1, I found myself in a small group with runners placed 3-5 on the course (including myself). We crested the hill and all three of us caught the second place runner. The next half mile was downhill, but the two other people I was running with put a few yards on me. We wound up passing the guy in second place by mile 2.5 and I knew I was in fourth place on the road. The last mile on the course was rolling and the group of two other runners I was with pulled away on the hills.
With a half mile left I periodically looked back checking on the guy who was originally in second. He didn’t seem to be gaining any ground…in fact he was losing ground. But then I saw a new guy who was gaining slowly. I had about 100 yards on him. Knowing I was so close to the finish, I just tried to coax a little more speed out of my legs.
I held him off and was rather pleased to finish fourth overall. Of course, this was a very small race with only 67 participants. At a larger race, a 22:18 wouldn’t even be close to placing. But still, it’s always fun to do well. This should be a “modern day” 5k PR for me. But, nearly all of our watches read a little short, so Strava didn’t give me credit for it…boo.
I don’t usually do 5k’s so this was the first one I’ve done in a while. I raced many 5k races in high school so this wasn’t my first rodeo. As always, you can always learn something.
- This was the highest maximum effort I’ve had in a very long time. My heart rate proved this and was surprised I was able to hold it
- I absolutely need to work on my hill running and riding for next season. This is my Achilles heel.
- I was comfortable running downhill fast, but with better form could have carried more speed
- I’m happy with the speed I put in, but I no longer have top-end speed…only “endurance speed”
- The Mio Link may look goofy, but it works extremely well and is much more comfortable than a chest strap. Plus, in a high heart rate race like this, not having a strap restricting breathing is clutch
- Tom Raffio, CEO at Delta Dental is still as awesome today as he was several years ago when I met him. He and his company continue to invest in wellness events/races and I think it’s awesome he runs in some of these smaller events. He’s a pretty amazing guy, but not many people know it.
With that, thanks for reading!
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