Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#18 - Firecracker 5K, an explosive race

Susan and me
No, there weren't any fireworks, but this race was just as entertaining as if there had actually been fireworks.

Race #18 was a very well organized event that was held on Saturday, July 5 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. The race promptly began at 9:15 and by 11 am, I was already on my way home with my lovely trophy and a new personal record (PR). For me, the most exciting part was meeting fellow runners.

It was a party when I got to the Governor Mifflin Middle School at 8:45 am. Loud upbeat music was playing while a DJ kept the crowd engaged with his witty remarks.

Registration was very efficient - no line. They had 2 tables: one to process "late registration" and another to process pre-registered participants. I was a little bummed out that they incorrectly logged my last name as "Andres" instead of "San Andres," considering the fact that I registered online.  I asked for them to fix it, and the online results now show the corrected version - thank you. 

With Bob after the race.
I met some inspiring people.  First, I introduced myself to Bob. At age 85, he finished the race in 33:37. He started running at age 69 and recently finished a 13.1 miler in April. He participates in at least 24 races a year.  "How many races did you say you were trying to do?" he asked.  "Uhh, 50 5K by September next year," I squeaked.  

"What was that? I can't hear you."

"Hey, let's have our picture taken!"

Then, I met an amazing family, Susan and her children.  Susan was the first person I've ever seen finish a race in a dress and bonnet.  Her son, Sam , finished in 19:34 and placed 3rd in the 15-18 age group - in jeans!  

I'm not sure why Susan dressed the way she did, but from what I've learned through the internet, there are religious Christian communities called Mennonites who dress conservatively to honor the teachings of the Bible.

I don't know if Susan is a Mennonite. I just wish I could have known her better.  This was Susan's 2nd race and said she hoped to finish a 10K next time.  More power to you, Susan!

Fun runners of all ages.

15-18 age group winners: Tyler, Cameron, and Sam (left to right)
I didn't expect to win especially after learning that a gym co-sponsored the event, and that some participants are running with their personal trainers. I felt very blessed to see that I won 2nd place of the women's 45-49 group.

My next race is on Wednesday, July 9.  It will be tough to beat my new record of 26:59, but as always, I'm going to give it my best.

Would I run this again?  I would definitely consider it.

More pictures

This is the 4th race I've participated with Bonnie (left) who's receiving her award for placing 2nd in the 60-79 group

Post race snacks

Results were posted within 1 hour of race start.

They awarded over 70 trophies

Race Facts

Address: Governor Mifflin Middle School, Route 222, Shillington, PA 19607

Course: flat as my uncle's chest, asphalt road

Date and Time: Saturday, July 5, 2014 9:15 am

Kids Fun Run: Free

Parking: Free and plenty

Participants: 192

Post Race Food: mixed fruits, soft pretzels, cookies, water

Price:  $20 (plus $3.21 service fee when paying via

Prizes: trophies for the top 3 men, and women of each of the 23 groups below (except when noted):

  • 14 and under
  • 15-18
  • 19-24
  • 25-29
  • 30-34
  • 35-39
  • 40-44
  • 45-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64 men
  • 65+ men
  • 70+ women

Results within  hours after the race. Online results were published Monday after the event

Restrooms:  Porta potties-a-plenty

Shirt: Sport Tek t-shirt

Timing: traditional

Water Stations:  1 station available 


Course map and elevation

    Registration and finish area
    Starting the fun run
    Anyone need a massage?


    1. "Thanks, Patricia, for the link to your blog and for your kind words to me and others. (Yes, Susan is a Mennonite!) You are an inspiration to all past-39 runners--and it sounds like your family is an inspiration to you. Best wishes--go forth!"

      1. Thank you "anonymous" ;-) Hope to see you race again soon.