Last year, I ran this race with my good friend KB as her first 5k. This year, my co-worker friend talked me into running it again. I haven't really raced a 5k in years, so my 5k PR was from a triathlon this summer - 27:06. Thought I might try for a new PR because the bar wasn't too high.
When I started out, I suspected I might be running a little fast. I saw EH about 20 yards ahead of me. I know she is a fast one, so I dialed it back a little. I hit the first mile marker in 7:15, but the mile did include a nice downhill to the Browns Stadium.
The next mile I was feeling okay, but I could tell I had slowed down. We hit the turn around at the Rock Hall of Fame and headed back the way we came. At their 2 mile marker, my watch said 16:55 (wow, I had really slowed down!) - turns out mile 2 was a little long thankfully.
The last mile included the return trip up what was no longer a nice downhill and instead was a not-so-fun uphill. At this point, I started to get a nasty stitch in my side. I managed to pass this 13-year-old girl who was ahead of me (and I saw her stop to tie her shoes 3 times and she was still ahead of me). Of course, that didn't last long. She passed me after we crested the hill and I never saw her again. I also got passed by a guy pushing a stroller with two hefty toddlers in it. I dug into my suitcase of courage trying to push past the nasty side stitch, but I came up empty. I just hung on until I rounded the corner at mile 3 (that one was short). As I raced down the last .1 mile with renewed energy, I spotted the timer and saw it would indeed be a PR day. I finished in 26:18.
I ran back to run in my co-worker and her daughter. Her 16-year-old daughter did her first 5k and was all smiles at the finish.
After grabbing a quick donut and water, I headed home. Little did I know that I actually placed first place in my age group (out of 8 and was 62 out of 176 overall). I never thought in a million years that I would place in my age group with that time let alone win it. I guess it shows that you just have to pick the right race where your competition stays home! : )