Sunday, November 15, 2009

Girls on the Run 5k Recap **Updated**

So, awhile back I ran across the organization Girls on the Run...Mentors work with girls in 3rd through 8th grade and use running as a tool to talk about self respect and healthy living. I'm really not what you'd call a kid person...much more likely to volunteer for animals than children...But, this program seems like a really great way to help girls channel their energy in a positive direction. And, I wanted to do something, so I signed up for their 5k, which doubles as a charity event and the culmination of the girls' running training.

I've done a 5k in Forest Park before, but it's a huge park, and the course mapped out for the run yesterday was totally different than the other race, with several uphills.

Since this is my third 5k, I was really focused on improving my time. When I ran in September, I finished in 29:27. I was aiming this time for somewhere around a 9 minute mile.

The start time was 9:00 a.m., and I'd already picked up my race packet (complete with an awesome long sleeve wicking t-shirt), so I rolled into Forest Park around 8:15. Good thing...The roads surrounding the event were already closed due to a 1 mile fun run earlier that morning. I ended up parking about a half mile away at the Art Museum and walking to the event. Oh. My. Goodness. There were little girls everywhere. I had highly underestimated the size of the run. About 3,000 people were participating, about 3/4 of whom were kids.

Jackie Joyner Kersee was the guest emcee and gave the girls a pep talk before the race began. I positioned myself toward the start of the pack in hopes of getting out to a quick start. The starting horn blew at 9:00:32 and I crossed the starting line at 9:00:51. This didn't turn out to be a great race to plan on making PRs...The program focuses on having fun running, but I don't think they discussed things like "race etiquette." It took me awhile to get through the herds...About a mile or so in, I finally found myself with a free space to move.

I slowed down for a sip of water at the 2 mile mark, otherwise I kept moving. I was a bit sore, and frankly my legs just weren't moving that well, but I crossed the finish line at 9:29:15. Based on my own watch (the official times from our D-tags should be out later this week), I figure I ran in 28:06. Not bad for the slow start.

My math skills are worse than I thought...Offical results are in and according to chip time, I finished in 29:08...about 20 seconds faster than last time, but no minute faster like I thought from my watch. Boo! Still, out of 2662 participants, I finished 265th. And among 2253 female runners I finished 174th. Next time for the 28!

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