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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.