It is rare that lately I run a new race. What I mean is not an “inaugural” race but a “new” race for me. My running friends actually have run this race in the past but the date was never convenient for me.
But this year, I decided to make it happen because of the charity: UKRAINE. I know the race organizer from FTC. And I chatted with her at a recent expo.
It would be a fun run since I haven’t trained for speed and I can’t remember the last 5k I’ve run… perhaps last fall?!
Yup – over 6 months ago….
Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:
Not much preparation for a 5k… my usual 3 mile weekly runs plus a long run on the weekend in preparation for a half marathon in THREE weeks.
In fact, I took Friday morning off from work to run my 11 mile long run so I would be free to run this race (even though, my legs would not be in tip top shape.)
Since my weekly long run was done, I was free to join my running buddies for a leisurely walk and brunch.
I spent the rest of the day trimming bushes and weeding. It seemed way more tiring and I was more sore than after my long run. Good thing this 5k was just for fun
Here is the description of the race:
Sasha’s Superhero Run is a 5K run/walk and a kids run was organized by the family and friends of a local boy, Sasha, who passed away unexpectedly as a baby on Christmas Eve in 2016. The superhero theme of the event was adopted to honor all parents whose babies and children passed before their time…
Since Sasha’s family is Ukrainian, our 2022 event will be raising funds for the children of Ukraine, affected by the horrific war waged on its territory. The race proceeds will be split between the Global Ronald McDonald House Charities and few smaller local charitable organizations, based in Western Ukraine, providing direct assistance to displaced children and their families.
It is obvious why I picked this race (over several choices the previous day.)
The weather forecast seemed to be prefect – a little chilly but not much wind and sunny.
I ate pizza for dinner as I do for any race (even though it was only 3 miles, lol)
I also had my standard breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. I guess I’m a creature of habit.
I looked outside and there was frost on my lawn. What? It was in the 30s though it would surely warm up by race time.
I impulsively added a long-sleeved shirt under my shirt, DIY arm sleeves, a beanie and I even brought gloves.
This year, the race once again took place in Halfmoon Town Park (just a few miles up the road from the original location in Mechanicville).
I had never been there and wasn’t sure about the parking situation so I left early.
No problem at all. Plenty of signs and volunteers directing things.
I picked up my bib and race shirt.
I walked to my car and left the shirt and got some money for the raffles (so many great prizes).
Soon more runners arrived and I knew many of them.
Race Course (according the web site):
The out-and-back course starts and finishes in Halfmoon Town Park and has a series of rolling hills, with elevation changes just under 150ft. The start is at the north end of the park near the playground and proceeds south to Route 236. The course crosses NY 236 and turns left onto Hayner Rd, proceeding left onto Lower Newtown Road, where the course reverses direction and proceeds back to the start.
Soon it was time to line up at the start. And it was much warmer than when I arrived. I didn’t have time to go back to my car so I stashed my cape (it would be too annoying to run with it) and my arm sleeves in one of those mini library stands.
The RD announced that the race had raised over $30,000for Ukraine. She is Ukrainian and it was very emotional as she spoke.
Then they played the Ukrainian national anthem. Sniff. Sniff.
The race was gun timed so I could have stood closer to the front. But I am uncomfortable doing that and it really only makes a few seconds difference in my finish time.
There were about 250 in the race, many in costume and many walkers. My legs definitely felt sluggish after lack of rest the past two days. But I tried to ignore it and just run.
It was only rolling hills at first.
The hills arrived and I thought I could run up them…
Nope, I resorted to walking.
I also stopped at the water stop as it was feeling warm due to all that sun (and being overdressed a bit).
Eventually we turned around and the course repeated itself.
But why didn’t I feel speedy on those downhills?
Mile 3 – 3.1:
I was pooped…
I did my best but just didn’t have the mojo to go for it.
I walked several more times so at least I could sprint (and smile) going through the finish line.
I was pleased to see 28:XX on the clock. I thought I was a lot slower.
Post Race Activities:
I retrieved my sleeves and cape.
I waited at the finish line cheering in my friends.
Then I grabbed some food – there was chocolate milk, snacks, bars fruit, etc.
I didn’t win any raffle prizes but my friend Judy did…
Then I checked the results…
The prize was a certificate and a beautiful calendar with photos of Ukraine. No ceremony.
There were also two kids races scheduled next but we didn’t stick around.
This was such a great race for kids too.
Additional Race Reflections:
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this race. If I am around, I will probably run it again next year.
The past few years, I’ve mostly focused on half marathons.
Truthfully, I was a little nervous about how I would do in a 5k. Especially without doing any speedwork.
I have a ways to go if I want or can get back to 27 minute 5ks. I need to either train to get faster or pace myself better so I don’t die during the last mile.
I am happy to be healthy, to be running regularly and interacting with others.
If my race times slow down, so be it.
Note to self: Do not wear a costume if you are serious about racing. My h beanie kept flying off, my shirt was cotton so too hot. I didn’t wear my race belt so my phone & car key weighed down my skirt. Finally, those knee socks were not compression ones they kept falling down. But it was fun dressing up!!
- Well organized race
- Supported an important charity.
- Well marked course with many course marshals
- Great raffle prizes
- Real restrooms
- Lots of familiar faces.
- Perfect weather
- Immediate results
- 5 year age groups for awards
- Creative/meaningful awards
- Too much walking
- Hills (but few races are totally flat)
- Gun Time
- Shirts ran small.
- Costume annoyances (my fault)
- Lack of hill training (my fault)
Would I recommend this race?
There is really nothing negative to say about this race.
A race almost 6 miles up a mountain, then a sweaty 5k in Fla, followed by a local 3.5m team race and finally a half marathon.
Happy Running! Ever run a 5K race just because of the charity? Do you like to wear a costume when you race? Please share.
Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.