Strong to Serve 5k

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.

Ready to Run!
Ready to Run!

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!

Race medal and pint glass

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!

 

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