The first weekend of May I went across the state to my dear friend’s Kentucky Derby themed wedding shower. After occasionally looking up 5ks and half marathons in the spring and summer I knew that that weekend was a race weekend in Kalamazoo, heh heh. Since I haven’t done any long runs recently, I decided I would do the 5k for fun, instead of the half marathon, the day following the shower. I signed up at the race expo when I arrived in town early. The ladies at registration were giving me helpful parking tips and telling me a little bit about the course – one big hill after the second mile!

I arrived near the race start/finish area around 6:55 am and found parking easily. Granted, I backed in to a questionable parking spot on a slope at the volunteer’s guidance, but a convenient parking spot nonetheless. I didn’t want to sit in my car for over an hour – my race start time was 8:25 am – I was out of my car by 7:20 am. The forecasted high temperature for the day was to be in the low 70s! Yet in the morning it was still in the low 40s. I knew I would heat up during the race and I didn’t want to take a trip back to the car so I didn’t bring a long-sleeve shirt with me. Though I realized later they had a gear check tent. To kill time I did a bit of walking around, chatted with a lady who had a Ragnar Relay visor on, and even did a warmup run.

I was hoping to run under 24 minutes. Remember, I questioned whether the Martian 5k course in April was short or it was my watch. While running, it was hard to keep my pace steady. Then later, when the hill came that everyone talked about, I didn’t recover well. I came to run for fun so it’s alright with me! 🙂 Do you think gradual long sloping hills are easier than short and steep hills?

I finished at 24:17. I can’t complain. I haven’t been putting any hard workouts in to expect an improvement in my 5k time. My mile splits were 7:35, 7:39, and 8:14 (averaging 7:50/mile). Now I cannot imagine having that hill at the end of a half marathon or full marathon. Brutal!

What kind of authentic blog would this be if I didn’t include even the bad race photos??

I loved how many runners there were! There were just over 1,400 participants in the 5k alone! The finish line stretches were swarmed with people.

Part of the homestretch – view from my lucky parking spot!

And I stopped for donuts on my way back home. Of course.

Finally, the group speed sessions have started again! I’m so glad to see my running friends. It’s great to run hard again. I’m grateful for people to push the pace with. It makes me feel like my 5k goal for the year will be achievable.


I really like the 5k shirt from Borgess race!