Over the weekend, I ran the Whittier Spooktacular 5K. While 20:09 isn’t my best, and far from it, it was a fairly chaotic morning. I arrived at the start at 7:30. For some reason, I thought the race started at 8:30 am, but it started at 8. Luckily the race didn’t start any earlier because I probably wouldn’t have made it.
Before that, I spent the better part of the week in Anaheim and stumbled upon the Whittier Spooktacular 5K the day before. Why not? I should have done a little more research, including figuring out when the race started and realizing the 5k had close to 200 feet of elevation.
Parking the day of was tough, but it now makes sense since it arrived so late. We had to park half of a mile away. I registered on the day of and they were sold out of t-shirts and medals. They marked the race down to $20 so that was nice. Between running to and from my car, I was able to somehow get a 2-mile warm-up in. I arrived at the Whittier Spooktacular 5K start less than 2 minutes before it was time to go.
There were over 1000 runners at the Whittier Spooktacular 5K. Like any local race, there were plenty of kids that went out in the front. I can’t say I’ve missed weaving around kids, and it made the start fairly chaotic. My goal was not to run anyone over.
The Whittier Spooktacular 5K is a fairly hilly 5k. In just 3.1 miles, there are about 200 feet of climbing. A good portion of the climbing is done in the first mile and the final .1.
During the first mile of the Whittier Spooktacular 5K, I focused on not running anyone over. I ran a 6:19, which included a couple of uphills. I was pleased. I thought: maybe I’ll break 20 minutes. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
The next mile had a combination of uphill and downhill. I just focused on running my race. After the first mile, I didn’t pass anyone, and only a couple of people passed me. Despite having over 1000 people, the race was pretty strung out. I kept telling myself: the downhill will come. Why did it feel like it was taking forever? We hit a few small hills, and I ran a 6:28 second mile. I kept trying to motivate myself that I could break 20 minutes.
The last mile of the Whittier Spooktacular 5K is a combination of downhill with the final .2 uphill. I was powering down the downhills. I didn’t feel great, but I kept trying to make the best of the situation. We headed out on a small out and back section in the final half-mile. This meant you could see the large-finish line and you were running uphill coming back. It was rough. I ran a 6:14 last mile and crossed the finish line in 20:09. I ran the Heroes to Hero 5k in 19:51, so it is hard not to compare race results. I shouldn’t: two different races and courses. While I can’t say I’m happy with the time at the Whittier Spooktacular 5K, I am happy to race again. As always, you find the race on Strava.
Questions for you:
Have you ever missed a race start?
What is the hilliest 5k you’ve done?