So pretty much what I expected. Definitely not one of my fastest 5Ks but it was a good effort and I started out at an appropriate pace for my current fitness level. My time might not indicate it but this was a much better race for me than my last two 5Ks: I didn’t go out too fast and I didn’t run off course. (Running off course would have been very difficult during this race– it’s an out and back route and even though the 5K starts at the same time as a 10K, there are a lot of very clear signs leading up to where the two races split off. Here’s a map of the courses.)
The 5K is a fast course and I wish I’d been in good enough shape to really go for a PR today. (Maybe next year…?). My plan for the race was to stick to 7:30 pace for the first 1.5-2 miles and then run the last 1.1 as fast as possible. This was a good plan (mostly). I felt pretty good for miles 1 and 2 and did a good job holding myself back from flying down some downhills. Unfortunately, there was a small incline around mile 2.5 that slowed me down to around 7:45 pace for awhile. I managed to pick the pace back up to 7:15 on the S. 1st St. bridge and then ran as fast as I could towards the finish line. For once, I was not out kicked by a child but by an adult man and his dog. This race has a Fastest Dog in Austin competition and there were some speedy dogs (and owners) out there!
After the race I ran ~2 cool down miles and then stood around for a bit to see my official results. I was pretty surprised to learn that I placed 3rd in my age group, which entitled me to a “bronze” medal.
Besides the fast course, another thing I really liked about this race is the option for race day packet pickup. They had packet pickup on Friday and Saturday but the location was all the way in Westlake, which is an obnoxious drive for me. While I can’t say that waking up a little extra early today was pleasant, I’m glad I skipped the drive and got everything before the race. The packet pickup table moved pretty efficiently and I had plenty of time to jog back to my car, drop off my race shirt and miscellany, attach my race number, and do a warm up.
Speaking of miscellany:
The race shirt is cotton, which is not a fabric I like for running– I get way too hot, especially in the summer– but it’s super soft and fitted. (I got a women’s medium.) I will probably use it for lounging/sleeping/strength training/anything else where I won’t be sweating profusely. There are also some potentially useful coupons for yoga classes, noodle bowls, and running gear. Rounding out the swag is a pen and two Kind bars.
This was the second Sunshine Run and my first time running either the 5K or 10K. I would absolutely run either distance in the future. Good race organization, fast course, decent weather for May– my only regret is that I’m not in PR shape!