I haven’t run the Leprechaun Run in a couple of years. Last time I raced, there was only an option to run 5 miles. Since then, they’ve added a seven miler as well. I decided to run the seven milers because it was a fun distance. The race goes along the Kelly Drive and Schuylkill River. Despite being 15 minutes away, it’s been nearly a year since I raced in Philadelphia.
The race started promptly at 7:30 am. The start time was perfect because I could get back to work in NJ on time. At the time, I felt like it was too early, but it all worked out. Truthfully I had no idea what to expect in 7 miles. After running a few 5ks and four milers around 6:30 pace, I figured somewhere around 6:50.
I ran about a 2-mile warmup. I got to the start at 7:25. There were a short speech and dedication to Special Olympics. I always appreciate this race because the proceeds go directly to Special Olympics. We got going around 7:35.
The five and seven milers both went off together; the seven milers just went further. Around .1 into the race, I realized I forgot to start my watch. I started it, but it meant all of my miles were off. It was fine and no big deal. I ran the first mile with my husband, and we hit it in 6:39.
During the second mile, I started to find my rhythm. I ran the race almost all alone. Most of the race was without event. It felt like a time trial with myself. Since I’ve been running hard 5ks alone, it was no different. I hit the second mile around 6:35 and I was pleasantly surprised. I felt good.
As we went by mile 2.5, I noticed the only female in front of me turned. She was doing the five miles, which meant I was in first place. I was pleasantly surprised. I hit mile 3 in 6:34 and felt great. I knew I hadn’t taken it out too fast and felt relaxed; it was just a matter of counting down the miles.
We turned around at 3.5 and headed back to the start. I saw my good friend Pat (who took the photo), who is the race director for many unique and local races.
I like a good out and back course because I feel like I excel in an out and back course.
I hit mile 4 in 6:34. I told myself, “it’s only a 5k left”. Because that’s all I’ve been running recently. When we hit the 2.5 mile/5 miles turn around, we began to cross paths with other runners.
I ran mile 5 in 6:30 and felt good. I couldn’t believe I was running at nearly the same pace as the weekend before.
I found myself weaving around other races for the last 2 miles. It was no big deal. I ran a 6:28 and 6:28. I crossed in 45:51 and I was pleased with that.
I’m pleased and excited about that. I wasn’t expecting to run 6:33 pace for 7 miles but truthfully I had no idea what to expect. It’s been hard not to compare myself to previous fitness levels, but I know the fitness will come back.
I’m looking forward to getting more races under my belt and getting faster again.
If you’re looking for more running and running industry news, subscribe to my newsletter!
Questions for you:
Have you ever run a 7-mile race? It’s like a 10k with a bonus round.
Do you prefer loop courses, point to point, or out and back?