Bone Run 3.05m (18:11)

Last weekend I ran the Bone Run in Vineland, NJ. Where I live is parallel to Philadelphia and considered South Jersey. I drove another 45 minutes South.  Is the Vineland considered Super South to North Jersey residents?

My friend Jen recommended the race and said it was scenic and well put together. I decided to go because it’s one area of Southern NJ that I have never been too.  I enjoy about racing and discovering new places to run. The race took place in Parkin Park which is gorgeous and I’ll be back to run there. I arrived to the race around 8 am, warmed up and got to the start at 8:55. I noticed a lot of fast males and females. I was excited to race a competitive 5k.

The race went off right at 9 am. The course began on the road but quickly moved to a single track dirt path. It made it almost impossible to pass people, and I was stuck behind several people. I think being stuck was a good thing because it prevented me from taking the race out too quickly. The first mile went up and around the lake. It was beautiful, and the dirt surface felt nice. I hit the first mile in 5:58.

bone run race

At the start of the second mile, I counted six females in front of me. I passed a pack of three women early into the second mile. I felt strong, and I didn’t feel as if I was fading. Generally during the second mile I feel as if I’m beginning to slow down.  When I hit the second mile in 6:01, I felt incredibly confident. As I passed another woman, I felt strong. It was motivating. Midway through the race and mile, I got tucked into another pack of men. It was hard because the course was extremely narrow so no one could pass anyone. I also was trying to keep my mind focused because there were several roots on the path and I didn’t want to fall. I hit the second mile in 6:01.

During the third mile, I was getting both extremely excited and motivated. I felt great, I wasn’t fading, and I was still passing people.  It was a Christmas miracle (Christmas in October?) I passed two more females and found myself as second women overall. I was beaming as I ran the last mile and felt like I was running in the twilight zone.

I was becoming more and more confident that I could hold this pace and possibly turbo charge into a 5k PR. During this race, I wasn’t just “holding on” but pushing out of my comfort zone.  I wasn’t fading but increasing my turnover!  I ran the last mile with a pack of two other men.   We rounded a corner and to my surprise the finish line came up a lot quicker than a 5k did. As we rounded the corner, I saw the finish clock in the 17s. My watch beeped 3 miles and too soon later, I crossed the finish line.  The course was short.

I finished the last mile in 6:02 and crossed the finish line in 18:11. My watch read 3.05 miles. Now to some they might round up for this course, but I know I’m not in 18:11 shape.  Sure I could claim this as my PR but it’s not.

bone run 5k


We complain about courses being too long but don’t acknowledge when they are too short.

After finishing, a range of emotions went through my head like: Will I reach my 5k PR pace again?  What if this is just a fluke?  Why couldn’t it have been a few yards longer?  I’m confident if it was the right distance I would have Pred on Saturday. I was feeling strong at the end, not fading. My last .05 was a “5:48” pace because I wanted a PR more than I wanted a giant mug of coffee.

I will say despite being a short course it was motivational to see on a good day, I’m ready to PR in the 5k. I strung three, 6-minute miles together.  Who knows when the next good day will be but I’m ready for the PR. It’s nothing to get too upset about but it is frustrating, and I won’t claim it as a PR.  If a short course is the worst to damper my day, then I would say I’m doing okay.

Questions for you:

Have you run a short course before?

I think this might be the first official short course that I can remember.

What was the last confidence booster activity you did? Running, life….whatever.

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  1. I’ve run one short course. It was a half marathon that was 12.7 miles. I was extremely frustrated but decided to shrug it off. I was more frustrated for my brother who was running his first half and many others who may have been doing the same or going at a PR pace.

    Last confidence booster activity I did was my 200m repeat workout yesterday! After a week of no running after the marathon, I felt light and strong. I am taking a break from the marathon and working on 5k speed.

    Congrats on a great race even though it was short! You’re going to get that PR soon; you keep inching closer!

  2. Great job Hollie! That’s so disappointing that the course was short, but you know in your head that you’re in PR shape which is all that matters. Like you said yesterday, the number is just arbitrary and not a qualifying standard for anything, so you can rest assured that you are in the best shape you’ve ever been! Amazing!!

  3. Sorry to hear about the short course! It is awesome that you had such a great race and it is only a matter of time before you PR!

  4. Short courses are the worst! My half marathon “PR” is from a (very) short course. It was 1/2-3/4 of a mile short. It was a very small race and apparently someone stole the turn around cones, so we alll turned too early. I think it still would have been a PR….but I’ll never know!!
    Glad you are feeling so strong and confident…you will definitely PR on a full 3.1 soon! I know it!

    1. I wonder who would need ones that badly? That’s about a 20k which is raced somewhat frequently. I would use it as my 20k PR 😉

  5. I ran a 10k course once that was just about five miles. I still have no idea how they made the course that short because that is a huge mistake. I was just running it for a training race, so it didn’t bother me too much. Actually, I got a good laugh because when they posted the results, they posted the paces as if the race had been a true 10k, so my pace was 5:XX/mile. I looked suuuuuper fast when really, I’m just about average.

  6. Those splits are awesome! Great that you had your Garmin so you knew your pace and where you’re at. Can’t wait to get back to the track this winter (my running club has access to an indoor track one night per week). You are reminding me how much it helps 🙂 Fabulous job!

  7. What an amazing race!!! I would argue that you ARE in 18:11 shape. The right course, the right field (competitive) and the right day and I would guess you could even go sub-18 🙂 You are awesome!

  8. You must have some really fast females out there! Your time is amazing, I can’t believe that many women were close to you. Congrats, you will get an official PR soon!

  9. That is STILL an amazing time but I get what you mean that you don’t feel like it counts as a PR because it was short. I’m really excited for you and know you’re going to have a huge PR one of these days!! This weekend will be a good one 🙂

  10. I ran a 5k once that was really about 3 miles. It was my first time averaging below 9min/miles on paper. It took me a few months to really PR even though I’m not that speedy. But it kept me motivated as a time to beat.

  11. It is annoying that the course was short but how great to feel good and sustainable during the race, it sounds like you ran strong! I ran a half a couple weeks ago and my Garmin finished at 13.03 – I thought I was being smart with running tangents but I am never short (I typically overrun at least a little) and there were a million turns. I also was 3 seconds over my chip time on my Garmin so wasn’t sure what happened, it was certified. I wasn’t running for a PR or anything so didn’t think too much to it but if I was I probably would have been angry.

  12. I’ve run many short courses (5ks are the most common) and it annoys me to no end. IMO, that’s part of what I’m paying for.

    If it’s listed as a certified course, I go to the and verify my race vs. what it’s supposed to be. You can usually spot the error right away.

    1. Thanks for sharing Matt. I’ll have to do that, I have a good idea of where the race was short but you never know I guess…

  13. That PR is right around the corner, I just know it 🙂 Great job and I love your recaps.

  14. As a “central jersey” raised girl (even though folks say the area doesn’t exist), I’d call Vineland the ” Deep South” Jersey!

  15. Congratulations on a great race! Even if it was short course, that was out of your control and it sounds like you executed the race correctly. You were pushing hard and passing people in the end so you were doing something right and you ARE on the right track to a PR.

    I have run quite a few short courses including some that were pre-Garmin. I always acknowledge a short course, especially if I know it’s short. It is quite disappointing if you don’t run with a Garmin, to later find out that your course was short. I ran a half that was 12.9 a few years ago and a 2.95 5K a few months ago.

    I tapered and prepared for a 5K last year and raced it, only to later find out it was short. It was a pace PR and would have been a PR if it were correct (it’s still a pace PR almost a year later). It was also 3.05. Turns out the turn around cone was placed in the wrong spot, so human error there. A lot of runners really do not care and will say “Oh, well some courses are short but some are also long so this is still my PR”. I do feel like some races don’t care to be correct because runners will consider something short to be their PR and therefore people will come back thinking it’s a fast course?

    1. I remember that Amy. I felt so bad for you then too. I think you are tight and I can’t help but wonder if the race coordinators know the race is short.

      1. It’s really a double-edged sword. I can understand small races not getting a course certified. If you are directing a first-time, on-site race for your school or church and your main goal is to raise money, you shouldn’t spend the money on a course certification. You might have 100 runners and chances are most will be from the organization and there for the cause. The charity could use that money.

        Still, it is not hard to get a couple of GPS watches, phones, or whatever, run and walk the course a few times, and figure out something very, very, close to a 5K. It’s just not a priority for some races.

        I was sad about my 3.05 “PR” last year. I picked that race for the course- knowing it was certified! But who knows, in the end it was just a race and I had a great time. No one cares about my PRs but me, that’s why they’re personal, but yeah… I was a bit bummed.

  16. ive never run a too short course but man i can see how thats frustrating. sounds like all your work is really paying off. with winter coming do you think you will run as many races?

  17. Short course or no, this sounds like it was an amazing race for you!!! I’m sorry it was short but YOU KNOW this would have been a PR. It must have felt so good to feel so good in those last miles – awesome!
    I don’t think I have ever run a short course! That would definitely be a first!!

    1. I was thinking about it as well and I do think this might have been the first race ever that was actually short.

  18. It’s a shame that the course was short on such a good day for you, but barring bad circumstances, you’ll have the opportunity again soon enough! A PR is in your grasp soon for sure!

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