Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#14 - Run for Life

I finished this race in 23:56. I was dumbfounded. That's 3 minutes faster than my best time which happened 3 weeks earlier.  It usually takes me months of training to improve running speed, even by just a single minute.  How is this even possible?

My 14th 5K race was on June 14, 2014 (I couldn't have planned it better).  It was titled the "Race for Life." the first 5K organized by the Knights of Columbus Council 4282.  I've run through parks, cities, and residential areas, but this is my first business park run.  
registration area
A clear cool morning at JBN

The race was scheduled to start at 9 AM so I arrived at 8:15.   I like to be early so I can check out the area and internalize everything.  The Just Be Natural (JBN) parking lot on Courtney Street in Bethlehem, PA where the race was to start and end was already busy.  Some runners were warming up on one side of the lot while a masseuse worked on a runner in another corner. I met some participants while waiting for the race to start. Lisa and her husband Alex were promoting another 5K in September.  Then, I spoke to another runner who was wearing a shirt from the Kreidersville Challenge (my 12th race).  

Registration went so well that we were afoot at 8:55 am.  Over 70 runners of all ages raced through the relatively flat terrain.   There were no mile markers and no water stations, but there were a few volunteers who directed traffic, cheered, and held up motivational posters.

Jessica, Julianne, and me
I was humbled by children as young as 7 years old passing by me. I was even more humbled by a woman pushing her child in a stroller.  I have 3 children and I know how much work it takes to walk with a stroller especially uphill through parks or through crowded malls. I cannot imagine racing with it.  It's hard enough to carry my own weight while running.

Speedy mom had an additional weight of at least 40 pounds (20 for the stroller + 20 for the child). That's equivalent to strapping 20 chickens around my waist! I was pacing at about 6.5 miles per hour when speedy mom overtook me at around mile 2.  I tried to catch up with her but she was too fast. 

After the race, I was honored to meet the speedy mom, Jessica.  She was running with her 2-year old daughter, Maya, in the stroller.  I also learned that Jessica was 4-months pregnant.

The course

Although Jessica inspired me to run faster than I normally would, it was not enough for me to pull a sub 25-minute race. At the finish chute, my GPS showed that the course was short by half a mile.

The organizers apologized for "issues" and understandably did not mention the deficit.

I don't know how the oversight happened. As I said before, this was the Knights of Columbus Council 4282's first race, and like many firsts, there are kinks.

Would I count this towards my 50 5K? I signed up for a 5K and thought I was running it. This shortage was beyond my control, so yes, I am counting this. I don't consider this finish time as a personal record, though am still proud to show off my ribbon and water bottle for placing 1st in the women's group aged 40-49.

About this Race

Location: 3684 Courtney Street , Bethlehem, PA 18017

Date and Time: Saturday, June 14 , 2014 at 9 am

Course: flat, asphalt 

Shirt:  Cotton

Runners: 74

Timing: traditional

Post Race Food: bananas, protein bars, and water

Prizes for different age and gender groups

Organizers websiteknightsofcolumbusrunforlife.weebly.com

Results were available within 8 hours

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