This past Saturday, I ran a 5k race that started and ended at my old high school. It was a bit more than a 2-hour round trip from home, so it's not a race I'd normally sign up for. I graduated from Kentwood High School in 1985, and probably haven't been to the school since around '87, so I was eager to see it again, as well as the entire area. Not surprisingly, things have changed. Neighborhoods have popped up, scenery is different, and even the school has some new additions. Honestly, it was a bit surreal walking and running where I once did the same nearly 3 decades ago.
The race itself was a well organized event. Given the total number of finishers for both the 5k and 10k (153; there was also a kids 2k race,) the vendors nearly outnumbered the race participants! There was free: Starbucks coffee, sub sandwiches, whole bananas and oranges, bagels, sports bottles, post-race massages, etc. Prizes were given out randomly. They awarded medals to the top 3 age group finishers...and they went with 5-year divisions! To top it off, there was a guy on a PA system announcing the name of every runner as they crossed the finish line. Overkill? Probably. But it made the race all the more enjoyable.
What also made it enjoyable was winning my age group. Granted, there were only four guys in my division, but somebody had to win it! Oh—staying upright made it enjoyable, too.
Cutting to the chase (is it really 'cutting to the chase' four paragraphs in?), here are my official results:
Splits: 7:28, 7:24, 7:31, 5:52 pace/last .1
Overall: 5 of 109
AG: 1 of 4
Men: 5 of 39
The course, which wound its way through various subdivisions, included a big downhill at the half mile mark, and a challenging uphill at 2.5 miles. The race finished with 3/4 of a lap on the school's track. Once I hit the track, I gave everything I had left in an effort to get under 23 minutes. Pre-injury, that would have been an easy task. Now, as I'm trying to slowly build back a base, it takes quite an effort.
Next up—and much closer to home—is the Fire Prevention 5k, in Snohomish, WA on October 13th. Hopefully I can stay under 23 minutes once again.