Running Partner On Race Day

5k Excitement – Firecracker 5K Maryland Farms YMCA

5Ks Can Be Exciting

So I never shared the results of the 5K I ran back in July. Sad right? Anyway, I want to make sure and complete this post because it is a very encouraging experience for new runners or those new to fitness in general.  It’s amazing to see people you don’t know cheer on other people they don’t know, encouraging them to finish the race, finish strong and be proud of their accomplishment. So if you have ever thought, I just can’t do a  5K…you are wrong. You can and there will be people to encourage you along the way.

I ran the Firecracker 5K put on by the YMCA organization in Maryland Farms. It’s a fairly flat course (unlike my neighborhood route) and was really enjoyable. The only part I hate about 5Ks is the original start. There are so many people, you get all clogged up and you can’t run your own pace due to avoiding others and not tripping. So, what did I do? I waited.

The gun fired and a ton of people took off running. I just stood there looking at my watch. waiting. waiting. waiting. Waiting for the right moment and for the original clog to thin out just a bit. Then, when I felt it was good timing, I punched my Run Keeper app and took off. Now there are advantages and disadvantages to doing what I did.


The disadvantages are that most races are timed in a couple of ways. One is the Start Time or Gun Time. That clock begins the moment the race starts and the gun is fired. So, with my strategy, the gun time will not be good for me at all.


The advantages are that the original clog of bodies is thinner and you can pick through them easier if you are at a good pace. You also feel better passing a bunch of people that are slower than you. I actually still had to run through a clog of bodies when I got to them, but running through them was certainly easier than getting stepped on.  Then this race was chip timed so I was able to run my race and not worry about the physical part of running past someone. I was running against myself trying to improve my pace and overall 5K time.


I did well for my first race this year. My gun time was awful as mentioned above but my chip time was 27:35. That’s a great improvement for me and to top it off, I felt great and figured I could even push my pace a little faster at the next race. I cam in 275th out of 736 so somewhere near the middle of the pack. Now remember, I was the dead last person to leave the start line so I feel pretty good about that placement too. On top of that my pace was sub 9 minutes!

Now, like all races, it’s a logistics nightmare and there are alot of names and times, so I’m not upset about it, BUT the race organizers put me in the wrong age group. I’m 42 and they put me in the 36-39 year old group, but regardless of that, I came in 23rd of 41 in that group.

Overall I had a good time and saw some colorful characters running as well, met some cool people and paced myself on a runner that was just a little faster than me and certainly better looking.  So remember, if you haven’t run a 5K, it’s a great time and a challenge and you can always run another one if you don’t like your results. I hope to see you on the street! Get your fitness on!


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