{Race Recap} Run for the Heroes Memorial Day 5K

I run hard because running is hard. If running looks easy, it’s only because someone makes it look easy.

As the kid who always hated the mile test in middle school P.E., I debated long and hard before running a half marathon. I told myself that if running a half marathon was easy, I would see a lot more 13.1 stickers on cars.

(I still smile when I see a 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on a car. If you’re a runner, you should too!)

I probably won’t run a marathon, let alone qualify for Boston or anything extraordinary. Most of us who put in the miles weekly do it for health, happiness, sanity, friendships, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from running.

Sometimes, that sense of accomplishment doesn’t come. Or isn’t acknowledged.

The best thing about this race was that my handsome husband signed up to do it as well! It was Clay’s first 5K and really nice having my husband on the course with me.

The course was an out-and-back course and pretty well marked, so it would be hard to get lost.  The race started at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and School, and running out was easy- everyone started at the same time, so we were all running in the same direction. Coming back on the narrow trail, I was a bit scared that I’d run into (literally) some of the slower 5K runners or 5K walkers. Fortunately, this didn’t happen because I think most of the walkers opted for the 1 mile fun walk. I wound up behind them during the last 1/4 or so, but was able to pass.

It wasn’t an easy course, and the sweltering heat and humidity made it quite a bit harder. It’s so amazing how hot it can get here, even when a race starts at 8 AM. Your body feels 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature when you’re running, but you really don’t think about it until you finish, drenched with sweat.

Speaking of finishing, I finished in 25:32. Definitely no personal record, but totally justified by the heat and hard course.

I was the first female to cross the finish.

Not that I’m fast or anything- just that the super fast girls (i.e. my friend Angela) ran the 10K or didn’t run that morning.

I was still pretty stoked.

I’m also proud to say that Clay finished his 5K in 41:39. He was pretty proud of himself and now has a time to beat in his next 5K. Yep, five minutes after he finished, he was already asking when the next race was.

Soon, he’ll be as addicted as I am.

I stuck around to cheer on my friends Angela and Buddy who did the 10K too. Angela was the first place female for the 10K, finishing with a time of 47:52 (yep, that’s a 7:43 mile pace! Talk about smokin’ speed!)

After everyone finished, there was a post-race pancake breakfast, complete with pancakes, syrup, bacon, fruit, and whipped topping- gotta have that sugar rush after running, right?

Then came the awards ceremony.

The differences between male and female runners go far beyond checking a box on a race entry form- everything from lower testosterone, maximum oxygen, blood, and hemoglobin levels, to higher body fat percentages (although studies show that as distance increases, the differences that separate men and women have less impact on performance).

I’ve never heard of a race that grouped men and women together for overall awards. Whether you’re an elite athlete at the Boston marathon or a nervous 12 year old at your first track meet, awards and placements are separated by gender.

My race bib hangs in my cubicle at work, a symbol of races that I trained extremely hard for and always learned from. I wrote “First Place Female- Overall” on it.

No race results website will change that, and it won’t change my feeling of accomplishment.

This entry was posted in 5Ks, Married Life, Race Recaps, Running. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to {Race Recap} Run for the Heroes Memorial Day 5K

  1. That is fabulous that you got your husband into running too. I drag my bestie Anna around all the time to races. She loves them now. I agree though with your first statement, if running was easy we would all be Kenyens PRing in every race with sub 4 minute miles.

    • proudpatriot07 says:

      Thanks! Yeah he really liked it, we’ll probably do some more 5Ks together in the Fall. I didn’t know how he’d react because it was 3.1 miles in the HEAT but he loved it!

  2. Ash says:

    That’s so cool that your husband did it with you! If I ever run a race, I’d love to have a friend or family member doing it with me, it would just seem more fun. My dad and I did do a bike festival together last weekend which was great, I loved having somebody to share the experience with, even if I was way ahead of him most of the ride 😉

    • proudpatriot07 says:

      It was fun having him there! But I’ve made a ton of friends running, so when I do local races I usually know people anyway. Not a whole lot of people in my area run, so it’s like a little community, especially among the girls :). That’s awesome that you did a bike fest- Clay’s thinking about buying a bike and it would be really cool and a great way to save on gas right now!

  3. lindsay says:

    what?!? no award for first female?!?!! these organizers need a lesson… CONGRATULATIONS on your big win! that is so awesome and i know you are enjoying the ‘high’ of your win 🙂 you deserve it!

    that’s cool that clay ran too. i love that josh indulges me and runs with me sometimes. i told him though that if he ever thinks he can beat me in a race… don’t 🙂

    • proudpatriot07 says:

      Yeah, the organizers need to learn that- it makes me wonder if they did any research or even ever ran or attended a 5K race on their own. They said they’d have awards for females next year- lot of good that does to those of us who were overall finishers THIS YEAR…

      Clay could beat me in a sprint, lol. But I’m a runner and work hard at it, so that’s how I’ve managed to get fast. I’m not naturally fast and didn’t grow up running.

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