A few weeks back I learned about a new local race being held at the Saratoga Spa State Park called the Strong to Serve 5k & Half Marathon. Having nothing already planned for the weekend of the race and a discount code for 20% off the registration thanks to the new running store in Saratoga, iRun Local, I went ahead and signed up for the 5k. I would have liked to have run the half but my legs just weren’t ready for that distance yet.
The 5k start time was 8AM but the half marathon started at 7:30 and because it used the roads in the park it was recommended to get there before the start to get a parking spot and avoid runners on the road. So I left the house bright and early leaving my boys sleeping soundly. I had plans to run the race pushing the jogging stroller but it would have meant waking Owen much earlier than he’s used to and in hindsight it was a good thing because the first short leg of the race started by running around a field. So while the race was technically stroller friendly, it would have been a bumpy ride for O.
Once the half marathoners were off and running those of us running the 5k started to gather near the start line. There was a good crowd of runners competing in the half, roughly 400, but the 5k was a much smaller race! When I realized just how small it was I got it in my mind there may be just a very very slight chance I could place in my age group. It was a stretch, seeing as though my runs lately haven’t been very fast, but I thought I may be able to pull it off.
The race started promptly at 8AM and I was feeling good. The route for the race started in the parking lot of the peerless pool and then exited out to the park roads for a loop through the geysers. There was a pretty good sized hill right in the beginning and a sizable hill at the end but the in-between was pretty much downhill and flat.
I was wearing my Garmin but decided not to look at it for the race in fear that I would psych myself out over my pace, whether good, or bad. So I just ran. When I entered back into the parking lot I glanced at my watch to see my total time was just under 25 minutes! I was psyched about that and picked it up hoping for a strong finish. I crossed the finish line in 25:55 (according to my watch). While not my fastest 5k, it was damn near close!
I had high hopes that my time scored my a spot in the top 3 of my age group. When the results were posted I saw that one of the top females was in my age group and I was 4th. That meant I might have landed in 3rd due to an overall winner being bumped out of my group. I waited around for the awards ceremony to find out and was happy when they called my name as getting second in my age group!
It was a great race and I couldn’t have asked for a better run.
Once the awards were over I headed home so I could continue my running for the day with a jog with Harrison and Owen. It was at a much slower pace, my legs were already tired, but another 3.4 miles complete.
Apparently I need to sign up for more 5k’s to get some speed work in!