I entered a 5k race recently. I do not do too many of these; however, I am making every effort to do more. In truth, I avoid them due to cost. They are way too expensive for my taste. They do serve as a great training run for other distances — I will say that.

Above: Me early in the race

It was not the most competitive field with so many folks training for other distances, but there was enough there to make it worth while. I was a bit frustrated about a few things here:

  1. Race coordinators failed to explain protocol when lining up at the starting line. I had folks lined up beside me that should have been in the back. This caused some congestion at the start. Knowing this, I let folks sprint out ahead of me in hopes that I could space my way around them later.
  2. The course was not marked correctly. At the end, the top finishers all gathered to compare splits and distances per our GPS watch. I realize GPS watches are not 100% accurate and I also realize that courses are marked along the tangent — but still, this was a very long 5k course. Afterwards, I learned that this is the complaint every year about this particular race. That did not stop the winner from running a 15:48 time on a long course.
  3. I placed 5th overall and 1st in my division. During the awards ceremony, I was given a 2nd placed award. They gave the 2nd place winner my 1st place award; I let it go.

I was pleased in that I ran mile one at 6:02; mile two at 6:03; mile 3 at 5:53; and I finished the.1 at 5:25 pace. This calculated to a 5:57 pace. Oh, I held back a great deal too.