On the morning of my fourth running even for 2011, it became obvious that I worry a little too much about my races. I woke up early, got dressed and left the house, figuring I would be about 30 minutes early to the race sight in order to get my registration packet. It didn’t take long to figure out I would actually be an hour early and would have time to pick up breakfast from Panera. The French toast breakfast sandwich is becoming a pre-race tradition for me, having eaten on before the Get Lucky 7k as well.
Registration went much more quickly than anticipated, so I had a lot of time to update my Facebook status and get nervous. I never know what to expect, especially since the proceeds from the Spring Fever 5k were going to the high school track team. I figured it would be a fast field.
Standing in line for the race was interesting. It quickly became apparent which participants were runners and which weren’t, based on the conversation around me and the wide variation in running apparel. You’re really going to run dressed in a parka? I understand that it is Minnesota in spring; however, it was 40 degrees with the forecast calling for upper 50s in the afternoon. Oh, and kudos to the guy dressed in the banana costume!
At the sound of the gun, the crowd took off fast and furious. Even parka lady. And the lady whose dog would have rather been anywhere but there. Banana man was just a yellow blur on the horizon.
Interestingly enough, many of those who took off in a hurry from the start were already dwindling in speed by the second block. My favorite participants of the day had to be the woman and teenage daughter who started very fast, but were among those who were walking by block three. When the rounded the corner near what I learned was their house, they sped up again to pass a crowd of their friends and neighbors cheering them on….once we rounded a corner out of sight of their friends, they were right back at a walk.
Then, of course, were the runners that you pass. Then they surge past you, only to slow down and you pass them again. Repeat. Does anyone else find this annoying as I do? The only reason this is frustrating is because I don’t change my speed!
Soon, I caught up with Banana Man, who looked warm and deflated. How many dirty comments would come to your mind?
On the last leg of the race, which finished on the high school track (did you know they’re bouncy?), I could have passed the two women ahead of me but I didn’t feel like I could do that to them. Why? One was very overweight and the other seemed to have a disability affecting her leg, which caused her to have a very abnormal gait. I have to give them lots of respect for not only running the entire race, but for finishing with a good time (by my book!). Way to go, ladies!
My finishing time was 34:55, which is a new record for me and was quite impressive considering this was my first 5k that had hills. The trail took us through a hilly, winding path through Bunker Hills park. It was beautiful! So far, it has been the prettiest race I’ve run.
My finishing time didn’t win me any awards, but try being the old lady in your division! The winners in my division were all 18-22 years old. Yikes! Next year, I’ll be the youngest in a new division and I’m looking forward to it.
It was a fun race and one I’d be willing to do again in the future. I’m definitely looking forward to my next flat 5k course!