Since hearing about the Philadelphia International Airport 5k, my husband and I wanted to run. It was a pricier 5k (around $50), but it understandably costs quite a bit to shut down the airport. The race started at 8 am, which made it convenient to get to work on time as well. It’s the time of the year that I don’t have off many Saturdays so I plan races around what works with my work schedule as well. Usually, I can find something.
When we got to the race, we stood in line for quite some time before picking up our bibs and checking in. Due to running on the actual runway, you had to show your ID, which was scanned as well. It was the exact same process as checking in for a flight.
After that, we warmed up and got to the start right at 8. It was surreal to see planes on the parallel runway taking off and landing. Philadelphia has several runways, so they closed off the one we were running on.
During the first mile, I was running with several people. I could see my husband way up ahead, battling for first place. Similar to the 5k last weekend on a runway, you can see everyone at all times.
The first mile was windy, and we had a pretty significant headwind. I hit the first mile in 6:17 and I was excited. It was almost a 10-second improvement from the previous week in the headwind.
During the second mile, we went straight onto the long runway. It was a simple straight, windy, tarmac. It wasn’t headwind though! I was running alone and could see several men including my husband in front. I tried to focus on the few people closest to me. I was running by myself but having people to concentrate on made the mile go by much faster.
Unlike last week, the race went by quickly. Last week, I was counting every .1, while this week most of the 5k was a blur. When I hit the second mile in 6:18 and felt good, I hoped I could chase after a sub 20 minute 5k. To be honest, I was shocked I was competitive to even do that! I kept in mind that the second mile was a tailwind so the third would be back into the headwind.
We rounded a turn, and I saw my husband pull into first. I was excited because he has been training hard. I continued to just focus on the end. I could see the finish line at 2.8, and it felt like it wasn’t coming any closer.
As I edged closer to the finish, I saw the clock tick over 19 minutes and knew it would be very close to breaking 20 minutes. I hit the third mile in 6:24 and just focused on the end. I crossed the finish in 19:47 and as first female overall. I was excited to break 20 minutes so early in the racing season again. Most years coming back, it takes me 5+ 5ks to inch under there. I will say despite
I was excited to break 20 minutes so early in the racing season again. Most years coming back, it takes me 5+ 5ks to inch under there. I will say despite the wind, the weather was pretty ideal.
The other fun fact is my husband, and I have run several races together but have never both won the same race, so that was neat. I secretly hoped we could get a free American Flight somewhere. However, this was the first race I’ve run with zero awards.
In short, I’m happy with this race as it’s actually the first time I’ve run under 20 minutes since April. I have a lot way to go, fitness wise, but this was fun motivation. I didn’t have any aches or pains (or random injury/issues), so trucking along is the current plan.
Questions for you:
Have you ever run a race on a runway?
Have you ever flown to Philadelphia International Airport?