I love this race. There is something about running on the tarmac at the airport that just makes it so appealing. It is something different and for obvious reasons, somewhere you would not normally run. The course is out and back and fast and flat. Perfect for a PR.
My normal goals for a 5K are to finish under 30 minutes and to beat my husband, if he is running it too. Since I was coming back from an injury I did not intend to have any goals for this race except to finish. Ironically, this was my first race back from an injury last year too……
Next year I hope to run this race well trained and free from injuries. If I can accomplish that then I know I can PR in the 5K at this race. Also, don’t all your PR’s reset when you turn 40???!!!!
Thanks to my friend Carrie I didn’t have to pick up our race bibs or leave super early to get them, so we left the house a little after 6:30 to get to the race. If I were alone I would have left at 6 am, but I am a neurotic early bird. We arrived and parked by 7:15. It was very organized.
We wandered around for awhile. I had a few friends I wanted to see, but with 2000 participants that tends to sometimes be impossible. I did end up finding Carrie and Liz before the race, which was awesome!!!!!
Most of the time at races I never find anyone. I was happy to find a few this time. At around 7:40 the race directors started walking us to the official start line. By the time we lined up there was less than 10 minutes before the official start.
They were talking up on the Delta stairway and the mike was not working, so other than the national anthem (see video here) and the air horn for the start I heard nothing.
The start was crowded, but thinned out as soon as I crossed the start mat. I wished Chris luck and we separated to run out own races. I view running as a group sport when training…sometimes, but it is definitely an individual sport when racing.
Without actual goals I just ran at a pace that feel good, not too hard. I didn’t pay attention to my Garmin until it beeped at mile one. Imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw an 8:59 mile. Seeing this and feeling good made me decide to pick up the pace.
I shaved 30 seconds of my pace and hit 8:29 for mile two. I picked up my pace a little more and hit 8:13 for mile three. For the last tenth of a mile I hit a 7:45 pace. Just like that I ran a 26:38.5 5K!!!!!
I ended up hitting my two goals after all, but more than those goals was this confidence boost this race gave me. First race back from being injured and I managed to be fast and achieve all negative splits. This was the confidence booster I needed.
Chris did great too, finishing about a minute and a half after me.
I even found another friend at the finish line, Omar.
I never find this many friends at races…….I am lucky to find any at all. Chris and I headed to get some food while we waited for the results to be posted. My favorite was Columbia….they had their signature salad, black bean soup, rice and Cuban sandwiches. I had a little bit of everything!
I also had eggs and sausage from The Good Burger and shrimp and grits from Ulele. All delicious. We checked our results and even thought we didn’t win anything for our age groups, our rankings were really good. I came in 251/2000 overall, 14th in my age group and 70th female. Chris came in 341 overall, 24th in his age group and 229th male.
Overall an awesome race that I will definitely be running again next year….hopefully not after an injury again.
Have you ever run a race on the tarmac at an airport?