As I mentioned earlier this week, my family ran the 4-H Clover Dash 5k on Saturday morning. This race raises money for the Anoka County, MN 4-H program. We signed up because we enjoyed this race last year. It’s a fairly small race with approximately 350 participants between the 5k and the 2 mile walk. The course winds through Bunker Hills Park.
I picked up our packets on Friday morning since I had the day off to attend the Minnesota Horse Expo. Packet pickup was quick and the packet consisted of our race bibs and safety pins, along with a cotton Gildan t-shirt, pens, chapstick, hair ties, and coupons from sponsors.
The morning of the race, we got there early enough to park in the Activity Center parking lot, where the race started. Prior to the race, they had photo ops with the Chick-Fil-A cows, Caribou coffee, and silent auction bidding. There are indoor restrooms and a conference room to hang out in prior to the race.
Approximately ten minutes before race time, they gathered participants outside for brief announcements, then the 5k runners walk across the parking lot to their starting line. After the runners started, then the walkers lined up for their walk. The 5k started promptly at 9:00 am. The race is clock timed, not chip timed.
As I mentioned above, the race winds through Bunker Hills Park, which lives up to its name by being hilly. However, none of the hills on the course are very steep, just quick rollers. For some reason, I have always run well in this park and this race was no exception.
I went into the race hoping for a PR, but wasn’t sure it was realistic with legs tired from the speed work at my MOTR classes on Tuesday and Thursday. During the race, I admit that I didn’t notice much. I was pretty focused on running and listening to my music. I just wanted to run my best race.
I’ll admit I went out faster than I typically do, and was sure I wouldn’t be able to keep the pace the entire time, so I told myself I could take a walk break at the halfway point. I was able to make it to that point and had started running again right before I rounded a curve and saw the water stop. I briefly thought about taking a water break, but told myself that I wanted the faster time more. I then thought about taking another walk break around 2.5 miles, but again decided I wanted the faster time more. I was so very close that I tried to push to hit that PR.
My finishing time was 32:15, which was 12 seconds shy of my PR. But, I gave it all I had for this race and am proud that I hit my second fastest 5k time. I really didn’t expect to see a 5k time like that until after the marathon. This race confirmed to me, though, that I should see a 5k PR by the end of the summer! I’m sure the V02 max training at MOTR will be very helpful toward reaching that goal; maybe I’ll even see a sub-30 5k.
As with last year, we had a fun time at this race and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. A small local race, with funds going to a program we believe in, is always a winner.
What was your last race? What’s next on your race calendar?