Went out to Olander park to run in an oval a silly amount of times. As I got there, a 5k was slowly getting set up. I had no clue it would be there. But, I believe the universe is a very strange place and that most coincidences aren’t.
I set off on my run with the thought to keep an eye on the set-up when I came across part of the crew marking out the starting line. There I stopped and asked them what was up. They said registration was open. I had some cash on hand, so I signed up.
I did 3 miles and change before stopping to register and watch the proceedings. The tiny race seems to have been a fundraiser for a memorial scholarship for the area Montessori schools. Nothing objectionable there. Lots of kids and parents around, so being a long-haired outsider childless adult male felt awkward. I just stayed off to the side, quietly congenial, until it was time to run.
The little kids did flash-dash run which was fairly amusing. It’s good to see genuine general enthusiasm among them all. Then we all walked to the 5k start line.
There were a few fathers who looked ready to be serious. A pair of high school runners I expected to be fast, too. Just before the race started, an older gentleman came running from up-course with a number on and essentially turned on the start line as the organizer yelled ‘Go’!
Been a while since I’ve done a 5k race and I wanted to lay into it. I kept up with the pack of fathers, the older gentleman, and the high schoolers for a while before they pulled ahead. I then largely had a big gap to myself.
I managed to finish just a bit behind the first place female finisher and probably 5th or 6th place among males. The clock time looked to be 24:07 as I crossed. Strava gives me a full minute better in its estimation.
I enjoyed a hot dog and bag of chips provided and watch some more as folks finished the loops and the course emptied out.
Once everyone seemed accounted for, I set out to rake up some tired miles. I figured the race would tap my reserves pretty well and this made a good chance for me to run tired. I put down 4 more miles in this semi-depleted condition before calling it quits.
So, that is my story of the unexpected 5k I ran today. I also realized that there are all sorts of tiny races happening left, right, and center that I never hear about. It’s interesting and will probably float around the back of my head for a while.
Have you ever just found yourself at a race without expecting it? How’d it go?