On Sunday, I ran the Jakes Place 5k (spoiler: the course was short). Even though I raced on Saturday, the race went to benefit a great cause. Jake’s Place is a local playground with plenty of locations around the South Jersey area. The playgrounds are built with modifications for people with disabilities. All of that said, it’s a wonderful cause, and I use Jake’s Place bathroom about 50% of the time on my runs.
To be honest, after running the Dragon Run, the day before I wasn’t feeling great. Why would I be? Besides me legs being tired, I didn’t sleep well the night before either.
But my friends were doing the race, and I wanted to see them and support the cause. After warming up with my friend, Montana, we towed the line at the 5k. The race was delayed because they couldn’t close down the street and around 8:10 we were off.
About a dozen high school boys shot to the front like missiles. One cut me off, and I said: “Oh my stars”. I think he was mortified, but we both almost went down. I’ve been to the hospital for falls enough for my lifetime. The first mile went down the road and around the parking lot. The parking lot wasn’t uneven, and it was actually tough terrain to run on. Since we were going in a big square, it was also hard to get a rhythm down. I hit the first mile in 6:16 which I was pleased with. At the first mile, I found myself as 4th overall.
During the second mile, I passed two males and found myself as second overall. I don’t get competitive with boys, especially high school ones. The first place and I were running side by side, and he was weaving around. I would move out of his way, and he would somehow get right on my side. Finally, I pulled a Meb and told him I was visibly going out of my way not to be on his tail (later he said he ran cross country and “all they do” is throw elbows…). We hit the second mile in 5:58 which happens to be my fastest mile in October.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to outkick him and I just stayed as close as possible. The third mile ended, quickly, too quickly. When we went to turn into the parking lot, I thought we must have another loop but we went straight to the finish line (as the course indicated). The course ended up being about 2.8 miles. I was disappointed for my friends who were on PR pace.
I’m happy with the race despite everything. I support the cause and I’ll probably do the race most years. Even though the course was short, my final pace was 6:06, so I would have probably finished a full 5k around 19:10ish. I can’t complain about that!
Questions for you:
Have you raced a short course before?
Have you chosen a race based on the cause?