Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ringing in Spring 5K

Photo: my sister Anne and I after the race!

The Valparaiso YMCA’s “Ringing in Spring” 5K was last Saturday and, despite the rainy morning that only saw temperatures in the upper 40s at best, was a great time!  This was just my second 5K, my first was last month at Disney World, and it was a "fun run" without official times and placings, so this was kind of my first "real" 5K!

My sister generally paces slower than I do, but promised she’d stick with me for at least the first mile. However, I did warn her that I wasn’t going to hesitate to ditch her if I had to. Well, after a very cluttered start that was hard to emerge from, we ended up running together for a bit, but we parted ways somewhere before the 1-mile mark. The separation was probably due in part to me zigging and zagging through the masses of runners trying to find my pace.

Though I admit that I am just a novice at this 5K business, I was a little disgruntled with the immediate congestion after the starting bell. In retrospect, since it’s the chip time that matters, should I have just waited until the starting area was cleared out, and then cross the starting line and begin my run??? Or is a race with 1500-1700 participants large enough to constitute a staggered start by the race officials?

Once I found my pace and took to running, I ended up doing about as good as I can do…my official time was 29:43.5, which placed me 6th out of 30 in the Athena Division (the division for “big girls”, >150 pounds). Sadly, though some of the age divisions had medals for 6 places, the Athena and Clydesdale Divisions for us big peeps only medaled out to 3rd. Though the hardware would’ve been neat to have, I’m still proud to say I was in the top of the class! Despite my ditching her, my sister Anne did quite well too! She had one of her best times ever at 32:06.0, which placed her 11th out of the 30 Athena participants!

On a side note, as I looked at the results, I realized it would’ve been impossible to make the top 3 in the Athenas. I could’ve shaved some seconds and placed as high as 4th, but to move into the top 3, I would’ve had to trim nearly two minutes…that’s not easy! I bet if that Athena weight were raised by a few pounds, I totally would’ve been sporting a medal on my way home!

The post-race festivities were neat, though another possible comment I’d share is that there could’ve been more than one food line. 1500 participants really creates a long spiraled line in a gym when there’s only one food station. The food was great, and very generous…pizza, cookies, Dairy Queen ice cream, bananas, sandwiches, amazing cinnamon rolls, etc.! We probably wouldn’t have stuck around the long line for the free food, but we were waiting (and waiting, and waiting) to hear the official results announced, as the posted results didn’t break out the Athena division and we were interested to hear those results.

All in all it was a great event and if I’m still a runner next year, I will once again be “Ringing in Spring” with other runners from around northwest Indiana!

Photo courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. Joan, you are amazing! I wish I had the drive that you do. I'm also super impressed by all your pictures and twittering, etc. You are quite the blogging professional :)