This race recap is very late, but better late than never . . .
My wife and I planned this race around a weekend visit to the other side of the state in July (yes, this recap is that late). We are animal lovers and like supporting organizations that help animals when we can, so we were happy to support the Humane Society of South Central Michigan by running this race. I was thrilled that my dad decided to go with us and walk it (the walk was also a 5K and was concurrent with the run).
We got to the Humane Society (where the race started and finished) at least a half hour before the race started because we hadn’t registered early. The registration process was a breeze, so we had plenty of time to stretch, warm up, and check out the shelter’s decorations before the race started. I was pumped to see a mascot in a dog costume walking around…I love simple, cheesy stuff like mascots in dog costumes. The start line was right in front of the Humane Society, so we had no problem finding it or getting lined up a few minutes before the race started. This race didn’t have timing chips and didn’t have a lot of participants, so I lined up near the front without any problems (and without feeling like I was cutting anyone off). I had no idea of what to expect, so I figured I’d try to start strong and hold on for as long as I could.
I started out at the front, and after the first quarter or half mile I was comfortably in third place. And that’s how it stayed for the rest of the race. I was very happy with how I ran considering my lack of speed work all summer and my reduced mileage since injuring my leg around Easter. The only drawback to running in a smaller race like this one is that having my place pretty much wrapped up within the first mile is that I didn’t push myself as much as I probably would have if there were people near me in the last mile of the race. I wasn’t going to catch the two guys in front of me, so I just tried to hold on and not get passed by anyone. There was a turnaround about 1.3 miles into the race, and I saw that there weren’t any other runners too close to me at that point (and nobody who looked like they were running at a much faster pace than me). So at that point, I focused more on maintaining my pace than trying to catch the guys in front of me. When I passed my dad somewhere before the two-mile mark, he said I was probably about 200 meters in front of the next person, so I figured I was OK to just keep up what I was doing for the rest of the race. While most of the race was run on flat roads, the last quarter mile or so was on a nice wood chip-lined trail that had a lot of turns. I really liked the trail, and it would’ve made things pretty interesting if there was a group trying to sprint for position at the end of the race. While I failed miserably at maintaining a steady pace, I didn’t totally tank and my hamstring didn’t affect my running. I think I was just not conditioned enough to maintain my pace after the first mile.
It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t push it too much because my hamstring was hurting quite a bit while I was warming up and stretching before the race. It didn’t bother me at all during the race though (luckily), so I was able to run a bit faster than I thought I would immediately before the race. It didn’t feel like a third-place overall type of effort, but I’ll take it! There were some good snacks after the race, including some goodies from Kellogg’s . . . we were in the Cereal City, after all! There were some issues with the women’s results, but I think they eventually got things straightened out. They originally told my wife she finished second or third overall for women, but she didn’t think that was right and a couple other women came forward and said their times were faster. I guess that’s one of the downfalls of not using chip timing, but it seemed to have gotten straightened out fairly quickly. My medal is attached to a dog collar instead of a ribbon, and I think that’s a really neat and unique twist to the awards. I enjoyed the race, was happy to support a great cause, and am very glad that my wife and my dad both participated, too.
Official time: 20:06
Garmin time: 20:06 (3.04 miles)
Pace (per Garmin): 6:36/mile
Age group: N/A
Slowest mile (per Garmin): 6:57 (mile 3)
Fastest mile (per Garmin): 6:17 (mile 1)