Dennis Sherpa 5k (20:15)

On Sunday I participated in the Dennis Sherpa 5k Run.  It was a small, local 5k with a great cause. I was up in the air about racing but ultimately chose to drive down and run it.  I didn’t sign up beforehand and had to stop at Wawa for coffeerace day registration cash. After getting there, I quickly signed up but they were already out of shirts.

I warmed up and ran into Liz. We had talked about running this race so I knew she would be there. We finished warming up and headed to the race start.

While lining up, Chris snapped a few photos of us chatting. I think I’m always talking from the race start to finish. I guess this proves it.

Chatting prerace
Chatting pre-race

All of a sudden the race director said we had five seconds before we were off.

After we started, I found myself stuck behind a bunch of kids, high schoolers and other people. I think I started off in 15th place or so. The first quarter of a mile was on road and then all of a sudden we went around a corner and headed onto grass.

I hadn’t done any research about the race other then the description said “flat and fast”. I was not expecting to run on grass and trail! Anyways during the first half mile, I passed some people and ultimately found myself in 4th place.

It was hot and I was miserable. The first mile felt like it took forever but in reality it was my fastest mile in a while.  Mental games are tricky (6:13).

During the second mile I realized I took the race out to fast for the shape I was in. I passed a few more people and ended up in second. I was running alone and the first place person was about a minute in front of me. We made a 180 degree turn which made for a more exciting second half.  I like to see and high five people during races (6:25).

After the second mile, I knew I would be riding the pain train for the third mile. It was hot, humid and unenjoyable. I took the race out to fast and was paying the price. During the third mile, we had to weave through one mile walkers and the finish was unclear for each. If I hadn’t asked for directors, I probably would have missed the finish.

Also during the last mile, a man caught up to me.  He kept cheering and telling me to push through. Ultimately he passed me.

My third mile was 6:45 and I finished in 20:15.  I was third overall and first woman.  My girl Liz was second woman and Chris won his age group.

Liz and I with our sweet medals
Liz and I with our sweet medals
Liz, Chris and I
Liz, Chris and I


It’s fairly obvious by my mile splits (6:13, 6:25, 6:45), I took the race out to fast.  I was 5 seconds faster than last week, on a more humid day as well as a more challenging course.  I can’t complain but I can’t say I’m happy either.

Picking up my award.
Picking up my award.

I would have liked to be under 20 minutes by this point. I’m hoping the next 5k I’ll break through that plateau. My 5k PR of 18:35 feels light years away!

Despite not being at the time I want, I am enjoying doing more 5ks and getting out of the house.  Live to race another 5k…next weekend.  Team 5k all summer.

Questions for you:

What is the hottest race you’ve done?

I think the RnR Va Beach half marathon or the San Antonio half were the hottest for me.  They were probably as hot as this 5k but 13.1 miles is a long way to go.

What are your training goals this summer? 



  1. Congrats on first place woman and improving your time from last week. Hot and humid=rough.

  2. I run the Fairfield half marathon the last weekend in June, and it doesn’t start until 815. It’s usually so hot and humid, but thankfully the finish is at the beach so I’ve been known to dive right in! Congrats on a great race!

  3. Oh man racing in humidity is worse – even worse than heat. But even WORSE is when you have both – at IM Louisville 2012, it was 96F, humid, and totally sunny when we started the marathon. Youch.

    Your 5k all summer plan sounds awesome. I hope you pick up some good prizes, maybe the local RDs can get some diner gift certificates lined up for you.

  4. Humidity and heat are always an enemy of mine. I’d still choose to run in the heat over the wind, but it’s never a pleasant experience either way. The hottest races I’ve run were the Edinburgh Marathon in 2012 (I only work in Celsius, so 28 degrees), the Hamsterly Trail Marathon (30 degrees) in 2013, Shires and Spires Ultra in 2013 (around 30 degrees) and the Grim Reaper Ultra in 2014 (29 degrees). I remember the exact temperature forecast every time because the heat took so much out of me!

    You still ran a great time despite the conditions and I’m sure you’ll get a lot closer to your goal as the summer progresses. My goal is just to feel remotely well for one race. It would be nice to run a half marathon with at least a chance of pushing myself properly.

  5. i live in houston, tx and no matter how much i run outside, i still have a hard time running in hot + humid weather. my last hot/humid race was a half marathon last year, it was in the 90’s and they humidity was 100%. i could barely breath, and i don’t have breathing problems normally. it seriously got me!

  6. Congrats on being first woman! Although your time is far from your PR, you’re doing great after going through multiple injuries and time off. I think you’ll find yourself back in the range quicker than you think now that you’re not marathon training.

  7. Congratulations on your win and you ran a GREAT time. Looks like you had a fun race in general, but a 20:15 on a trail/grass course in the heat and humidity is really impressive. I like your training and how you race as training because that is one of my goals, I am racing most every week just as a really hard training run. I call it a “race-out”, race as a workout. But It is tough to adjust to summer heat and humidity.

    Sometimes I think every course advertises itself as flat and fast just to get runners!

    1. I think that’s a great time for a lot of people but it’s all relative! I do agree that adjusting to the summer heat is difficult!

  8. Racing in humidity is the absolute worst. I’m not great at handling the heat, but high humidity is brutal. First OA woman is always a good thing, though! 🙂

  9. Still a great time, especially when you consider you had some off-road stuff. Sub-20 is well within your reach soon! Congrats.

  10. The hottest race I’ve ever done was the Monster Half Marathon here in Ithaca. Luckily it was mostly covered by trees and on trails. You’re right, 13.1 miles feels heck of a lot hotter than 3.1

  11. Hooray! This race was such a great experience even though it was super humid – I had the best time! I’ve run a few 5Ks that were pretty terrible heat/humidity wise, but I will take rough summer weather over rough winter weather any day. 🙂 I think you will definitely find your usual speed again soon – the heat and Broad Street haven’t made it easy!

  12. Congrats on another great finish even though it was a little “off.” I know that last mile pain train all too well and it’s a horrible ride to the finish. At least you were able to find it?? 🙂

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