I’m a sucker for a 5k and have done the Miner’s Mile 5k race for the past three years. Since my goal for the year is to do at least one race per month, it fit perfectly into my schedule for a September race. For the past three years I have placed in my age group. Blame it on the small town race atmosphere where there are only a handful of people in each age group or blame the fact that it has rained every year. Whatever, I still placed and I could be proud. This year I wanted to keep the Labor Day tradition alive and do this race again.
The race itself is over an hour and a half away from my house which meant an early wake up call. My boyfriend didn’t go to this race with me and my friend Slade who has always done this race in the past was having a day with his family so it was me and only me flying solo. Getting there and not knowing a soul was a little weird for me but I took advantage of indoor restrooms and a lot of space to do some dynamic stretching. This is a super small town race with the nicest folks you will find. They also gave us tech shirts this year which was a huge plus.
At first I was excited that the race began at 9am since I got to sleep a tad bit later but as we were standing around waiting for the start I regretted the late start because the sun was already high in the sky and beating down on us. The 10k runners started first and then there was a 5 minute wait period before the 5k got to start. No national anthem, no start gun. I didn’t even hear a “go”. But we were off. This course is one of my favorites and since I’ve done it so often I know the mileage pretty well. Though I had no actual time goal, I did want to at least make it the first mile without stopping to walk. Mission accomplished when I passed the marker and looked down to see my watch hit 10:36 for the first mile. I will take that. I took a short walk break and scooted on up the only hill on the course. Some nice folks were there with water and a misty waterhose to cool us off. The sun was relentless.
Something about the second mile I didn’t like was that while this portion was out and back for all participants, there was not a line or cones or anything to show which side to go on so people were passing each other in all different directions and runners were going both ways. It didn’t bother me that much since I wasn’t going for time but I imagine those who were shooting for a win might have been a little peeved. Oh well, they can just go around. We got to run through “downtown” and people were blaring bicycle horns and clapping. This is what small town racing is all about.
The last mile is two set of straightaways and they seemed to last forever. I just coached myself to go .15 miles and then take .05 walk breaks. It worked pretty well and then when I saw my watch hit 2.8o miles I ran the remainder. I passed a woman a ways out from the finish line and as I got closer I could hear the pounding of her shoes behind me which put me into what seemed like a dead sprint to the finish line. I finished with an official time of 35:00. Better than last month’s race but still not a year PR.
After hanging out for a bit I went to the registration desk to ask my official time and they directed me to a website where I could view live results. It showed that I had won third place in my age group!! Score. So I waited around for awards. This year instead of doing 5k awards while the 10k was finishing up, they waited until every runner was through to do them. So I ended up waiting about an hour to collect my medal only to find out that a woman who did not put her age down at registration had actually been in my age group and ran faster than me which bumped me down to fourth. I was so bummed. Not that I had planned on placing although it would have been nice to defend my title but waiting around for a whole hour when I’m so far away from home was upsetting. I still finished fourth out of nine women in my age group which makes me happy since my time wasn’t all that great.
This race is one of my favorite events and I adore the course so I will definitely be back next year to set a course PR and win me a medal. That’s a fact, Jack.