The first year I completed this I was just beginning to run using the Couch to 5K program and did the first 20 minutes with our run/walk combo and finished the rest of the race walking. We started with the walker group and started about the same time that the elites were finishing. My group finished in about 1:42:32. The weather for this race was very warm and a full sunny day.
I ran my first 5K in 2009 so I decided that I would run the race this year even though nobody I knew was going to do the race I still wanted to conquer it and made Chris wake up early and drive me there so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I trained for this by adding 0.5 mile each weekend to my long run. I ran the very worst 5 mile race ever during my training, as in the hilliest 2.5 mile loop in blistering heat with absolutely no crowd support. Thankfully Kim was there to push me along. I ran the entire Bellin and finished with a time of 1:11:32. The weather was about 60 degrees at the start and got only a little warmer, there was a slight drizzle for most of the race and it felt great!
I wanted to PR this year's race, the distance felt easily doable as I just ran my first half marathon about 4 weeks earlier. I did not exactly train for this race as I had taken a week off to rest after the half marathon and I had only done runs about 3 miles in the following weeks. A friend was signed up for the race so I decided to do it and threw in a run of 4 miles the weekend before and 5 miles two nights before the race to make sure I could actually still run that far. I did end up having to stop to walk a few times after the 5K mark as my legs felt tired. At that point in time I beat my previous 5K PR at the split and was feeling it. I finished in 1:05:37. The weather was really nice this year as it was not too hot, no rain and a slight breeze.
I wasn't sure if I would end up doing this race but when Sarah mentioned she was doing it and we could ride up together, that was all the push I needed to sign up. I wanted to get a new PR in this distance as I knew I was faster. We were both in Corral 4 and we had decided we would run with each other as long as we could as we both had the same time goal. This was by far the hottest year, when you are sweating in shorts and a tank at the start line at 7:55 you know it is going to be a brutal run. I tried not to think about the heat so it would stay out of my mind. The first water stop was 2 miles in and I knew that so I used what I had on me, 1/2 nuun and 1/2 water out of my 4 bottles in my fuel belt. I planned on dumping water on my head at every water stop, the first one I grabbed 2 and one went down my back since the sun had been beating on it. Then came the neighborhoods and we ran through as many sprinklers as we could to keep ourselves cool. We managed to make it to the 5K split without walking but did so immediately after. The 3.2 mile waterstop I grabbed a cup of ice and put that in my bra (which managed to not melt until about mile 5.5). Sarah and I
I finished and got myself a new PR. It wasn't under an hour like I was hoping but with the heat I was only hoping to finish and feel like I was not going to pass out. My dear friend Flo helped me out for this run as I had retained all the water I drank in the last few days!! For a person that is very susceptible to heat I felt great during most of the race. I finished probably about the same weight due to the extra water I was carrying on my clothes. I literally wrung water out of my shirt and bondiband (which read "Find your happy pace") and my shorts were completely stuck to me. I never felt overly warm during this entire race and I can only thank the lovely neighborhood sprinklers and volunteers for that!!
I will gladly do this race again any year. It is probably one of the few races that I will ever be able to compete against Kenyans!! And here are some of the actually decent photos from the race. Thanks to the photographer for stopping us pre-race so we could get a nice picture.