Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Great Race 5k Race Recap

The last time I ran The Great Race I did the 10k option and I swore I would never do it again. The start was so congested and a huge turn off for the rest of the race. Once I realized my friend Carrie would not be able to run the race (and she would give anything to have been able to do it) I decided to give the 5k option a try.

You can't see it, but I wrote For Carrie on my bib <3

Let's go back to that weekend. It was the usual end of September heat wave here in Pittsburgh. It was projected to be the warmest Great Race in history. This was the 40th anniversary of the Great Race and the first year they were ever giving out medals. I am very pleased with my decision to run the 5k since it started an hour before the 10k and less people.

Okay so hubs and I headed downtown super early that morning. You have to take the bus from downtown to the start in Oakland, which is always a cluster. The buses were only running to the start line of the 5k for an hour, starting at 6:15am. Well, the first bus didn't load until almost 6:30am. I'm a real stickler for being on time, and I had to run a few miles before hand. I hate being late.

Never fear, we finally left. Made it to Oakland right on Pitt's campus and it was already warm. Ugh this is going to be fun. I had two warm up miles to do so I just ran north. I passed some guys setting up a water stop and thanked them for volunteering. When I made it back to the start area it was starting to fill up. I used the bathroom and just waited.

Thank goodness Sara found me so I had someone to talk to! All of my friends were running the 10k so it was nice to see a familiar face.

I decided to line up with the 8:00 pacers and Ambyr was leading the group again. She always seems to be the 8:00 pacer and I love it. We had some laughs and Sara even decided to join us for some fun. I even had to ask what an 8:00/mile 5k would be. They said a little over 24 minutes. Oh, cool. Why not.

Let's also mention I have zero goals for this race. I was just going to run for Carrie and try not to die.

The start was still a cluster, but with not as many people it wasn't as bad. When I started I had a person just stop in front of me as soon as I crossed the start line.

Public service announcement: if you are walking, go to the back of the corral. If you are with a pack of children, line up where you should be. DO NOT LINE UP IN THE FRONT IF YOU ARE WALKING! This is a danger to not only you, but the people who are trying to actually race.

Okay, back to the recap.

As soon as I started moving again I realized I lost Ambyr and Sara. They were gone. I settled in to a pace and stayed there. I didn't want to look at my watch because the first mile was mostly downhill. I passed a lot of people (shocking) and as we got further out of the shadows of the buildings, the sun and heat became very clear.

Mile one: 7:19

Mile two is pretty much all uphill. If you have been reading this blog for awhile you know this hill is my nemesis. I didn't know it was in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and then again in this race. I knew it was here this year. I wanted to stay consistent and keep moving forward. The sun was relentless already and all I could think of was everyone running the 10k.

I am so happy with how my body responded to this part of the race. I kept my breathing steady and ready focused on just getting to the top. It was all downhill from there!

Mile two: 8:03

As I got to the mile marker I felt something on my leg. Oh gosh please don't be a bug! Nope, it was my shoelace. This is literally the second time this has ever happened to me in a race. No, I'm not stopping. Please don't fall off shoe!

The best part of the last mile of the race is you are back downtown. Out of the sun. I just started sweating. Oh boy, here we go. Almost done. About eight more minutes. You can do this. I still haven't looked at my overall time. I didn't want to know. I want to be in the mile I'm in. There is a little girl running along side of me and I told her to dig deep and to finish strong. She gave me a wave and stayed with me for a little bit.

I saw my husband right before the entrance to the finish chute and I knew it was almost over. Seriously the best feeling ever.

Mile three: 7:21

In the finish chute I hear the announcer say my name and I waved. I was so thrilled to be done. I crossed the finish line and my official results were in.

Clock time: 24:03
Chip time: 24:00

ONE SECOND FROM BREAKING 24 MINUTES! Guys, I cut another minute and a half off of my 5k time from the last 5k I did! I ended up placing in the top 250, 51st female and eighth in my age group! Not bad for coming back and not having any goals!

I think this will be the way for me to run the Great Race in the future. Even though the start was a mess, it is so much better than the 10k start. Plus, with it being done earlier I can cheer on my friends!

Below you can find the course map and elevation chart for the Great Race 5k.

1 comment:

  1. So you had a race which was 5k and I believe you wouldn’t have had that much fun as it was in the last to last one, thanks for the recap though I almost missed that live.