Race Report: The Inadvertent 5K (ish)

On Thursday, I saw a facebook post for the “I Have a Dream 5K” benefiting First Nations Community Healthcare Center. While I am familiar with the great work of First Nations and was intrigued by the low-cost entry fee (a can of food), I didn’t really think about going since it was at 9am on a Saturday and that is normally family time.

However, as I finished up my sermon preparation and it became 8:30am, the family was still asleep. So, at about 8:45am I decided to go ahead and go to the run. When I arrived to register, the woman at the registration table looked at me and said, “this is the last one”. As I was walking to put the race t-shirt in my car, I heard the race director yell “Go!”

So I started the race about 30 seconds after the start without any time to warm up or stretch. As I ran, my fingers fumbled to find the music of The Clash. About five minutes into the race, I had to stop and retie my shoes. Clearly, the music in my ears was not the only thing clashing.

However, I moved quickly. I soon found myself in a no-man’s land: I passed all the slower runners and lagged behind the younger, faster ones who got a head start on me. But, I did learn that if you are trained for a marathon, a 5K is relatively easy.

In the last mile of the race, the only person I saw in front of me was a woman in a blue coat. While I tried to gain on her, she was moving well and was just too far away to catch. After crossing the finish line (at 3.4 miles, a bit more than 5K), I met her, congratulated her on a good run, and learned that she took first place at the masters level (us aged folk, 40 years old and above).

I quickly realized, if she took first place in the masters level, that meant I got second. On one hand, I was really excited—I got second place in a race I didn’t even plan on running. At the same time, I also realized if I had shown up early, warmed up, stretched, and tied my shoes better, I might have gotten first.

Nonetheless, finishing second in the masters and 13th overall was not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning and helped my confidence for the Sedona Marathon in two weeks.



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