Happy Halloween, friends!
This past weekend, I completed the Cedar Cliff Mini Thon 5K as part of my 10-mile maintenance run. I was the 4th girl (according to my sister), but the race experience wasn’t what I expected. Follow along to find out why.
On Saturday morning, I woke up early and completed 6.9 miles around my neighborhood. I kept my pace nice and slow (averaging a 9:44 minute/mile pace), and really focused on my breathing. After completing the preliminary miles, I changed out of my clothes (it was very cold and I knew I needed to get into dry clothes!), grabbed a Gu and water, and headed out the door.
The race was only 10 minutes from my house, so the drive did not take long at all.
Once I got to the park where the race would be held, I walked up to the pavilion and picked up my packet. I will say that I was VERY impressed with the race packet! The race was run by my sister’s class, so I wasn’t expecting to get so many goodies! In the goodie bag (which was a nice, sturdy string bag), we got our race shirt, some Four Diamonds stickers, Halloween candy, a nice ballpoint pen, a Four Diamonds lanyard, and two complimentary one-week passes to our local LA Fitness. Not bad for a local race!
After I took my goodies back to my car, I began stretching out my legs and doing what I could to warm my muscles back up. About 15 minutes before race start, I took my Gu and met up with my sister and dad (they came to watch me since they live 5 minutes away).
After a few moments of chatting, I headed to the “start line.” My dad snapped this pic, which made me giggle.
My dad is too funny!
Then, with some non-descriptive, last-minute course descriptions from the race director, we were off! I started out nice and slow and really focused on settling in to a comfortable pace. This race was not about winning or getting a PR. I really did it to donate to a good cause and break up another training run.
As we exited the park, I realized that I totally forgot to start my watch….oh, Sara….
I made the 5K Instagram post. Clearly, you can tell that running makes me happy haha. And, no, I was not last. There was just a big gap between my part of the race pack and the next.
I had heard that this race was going to follow the annual Turkey Trot course exactly, so at what I’m guessing was the 1.5-mile mark, we hit the school. Now, I’ve run the Turkey Trot for the last 4 years, so I’m very familiar with the course for that. At first, it seemed like we were following the course, but as soon as we hit the school, about .15-.2 of the course was cut out. This really confused me, and I hesitated when everyone else went a different way…BUT no one was there to direct us otherwise. Usually after the school, we head up and make a loop around the library before heading back to the main road. So, thinking that we’d make up the distance later, I followed the rest of the pack to stay on track.
Well….I was very wrong…..
We never officially made up that distance. We ran a straight shot back to the park, and before I could even comprehend what had happened on the course, I was crossing the finish line.
And, at that moment, I so wished that I had worn my watch. Just how short was the course? Should I have run more earlier?
I walked through the finisher’s shoot and headed towards my family. My sister informed me that I was the 4th girl to cross, so that sort of brightened up my mood. I felt so guilty…like I had cheated the 5K somehow..even though I followed everyone else.
After I met up with my family, we headed towards the pavilion to get some food and water. The amount and quality of food that they had out was AMAZING! There was fruit, applesauce, hundreds of pastries and donuts, water, and CapriSuns!
As we entered the food line, we overheard some of the race volunteers chatting about how so many people cheated and cut the course. My sister, intrigued by the conversation, went up to chat with the volunteers (since most of them were her classmates). When she came back to our area, she noted that most people cut out the library and just headed back to the park. So…they were talking about literally everyone who ran the race…This frustrated me a little. There wasn’t anyone on the course to direct us to the library, and thinking that there were some changes from the Turkey Trot course, everyone just headed down the main road. But, I put that behind me. I did the best I could, as did everyone else on the course.
Although the race course wasn’t ideal, it was still nice to get out to do another local race. I’ve been doing so many RunDisney races in the last two years that I haven’t really had time for too many local races. While I probably won’t do this race again next year, it was a nice change of pace. And, although the course was cut short by the runners, I’m happy that I was able to get out and add to my maintenance run.
Do you like to do any local races?