"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."
~John Bingham, running writer and speaker~
This was the first year that the race director decided to move the 5K from Saturday morning to Friday night. With that idea, they added the GoFar Challenge. To participate in this challenge, one would have to do the 5K Friday night, and then another event on Saturday morning, whether it was the 10K, 1/2 marathon, or full-marathon! So, not only would one receive a finisher medal for the Friday 5K, but also for the race of choice on Saturday morning; including two t-shirts, two swag bags, and the GoFar Challenge Finisher medal! That's 3 medals!!
I thought this was a great idea and knew that it was something I just had to do! Initially, I was hoping to do the 5K/Half Marathon GoFar Challenge, but decided to scale back a bit and do the 10K instead of the Half Marathon. Looking back now, that was a good choice on my part.
So, without further a-do, here's the low-down on how both the 5K and 10K went down.
Friday, May 21st, 2010
This race started at 6:30pm. The temperature was about 78 degrees with high humidity. The high humidity was a huge concern for the weekend and the talked about pulling out the black flags, just in case they needed to put a halt to the marathon the next day.
I struggle with running in the heat, especially when you add in the nasty humidity and no breeze in sight. I usually end up overheating and have a hard time cooling down after a run in such conditions. So I went out there with a plan to run this race with ease and not push myself too hard. I reminded myself I had a 10K to do in approximately 12 hours and didn't want to overdue it.
A friend's fiance and his sister were also running this race and I planned to run with them as long as I could. We kept a pretty good pace for the first mile and then I lost them when I couldn't get around all the walkers and strollers. I refused to jump into people's yards and run on the uneven grass, so I let them go ahead.
About 2 miles in, I was started to get pretty warm and there was no water on the course. Coming back in for the last mile or so, I was running directly into the sun and wanted nothing more than to finish this race and finish it STRONG.
The last quarter of a mile I kicked into high gear, passing runner after runner on my way to the finish line. It felt great. The finish line was so congested when I crossed it that there wasn't a single good photo of me finishing.
There were 5197 people participated in this 5K. I finished right about in the middle of the pack, 2523 out of 5197 people. I crossed the finish mat at 37:52, a 12:12 min/mile pace. I am not particularly thrilled with my finish time, but I was starting to feel overheated and new I need to save something in the tank for the 10K the next day.
- All the people participating in the race
- Nice weather - even though it was pretty warm
- All the people cheering along the course
- I like that they moved the 5K to Friday night so people can participate in that and any other event if they would like!
- All the people participating in the race (yes, also a pro)
- No water on the course - very disappointing
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010
This is the first year that they added the 10K distance to the marathon weekend. Prior to this year, the only way one could do a distance similar was if they were participating in the 4-person marathon relay; and even then, some were running less than 6 miles and some were running well over 7 miles, depending on which leg of the relay you would be.
My alarm went off at 445am. The 10K was to start at 7am and they advised people to be at the Fargodome an hour before. Jill met me at my house shortly before 530 and we planned to pick up another friend at 545. Traffic wasn't as heavy as I thought it was going to be. I pointed out the fact that we got to watch the sun come up on this beautiful Saturday morning... but I think I was the only one that enjoyed it and found it to be very calming.
We stood around for almost an hour, just waiting. I couldn't believe how many people were there; either doing the 10K, half marathon, marathon, or marathon relay. I had picked up my cousin's 10K packet and was afraid that I wasn't going to find him. I had told him to meet me on the west entrance of the dome, but forgot that it was going to be filled to the brim with runners. With only a few minutes to spare before heading out to the starting line, I found him. Phew.
A few minutes before 7am we ventured our way out the starting line on the street. At this point, the clouds had rolled in and there was a light mist. I think it was about 55 degrees. To many, this would be miserable running conditions, but I was looking forward to be cool. There was a combination of rain and mist the entire 10K, but I enjoyed it.
The route for the 10K was a bit different the the route for the half marathon or marathon and I was worried there wasn't going to be as many people out watching and cheering with the wet weather, but boy was I wrong!
I finished somewhere in the middle of the back half; 2165 out of 2668. My finish time was a very slow 1:22:39 with a 13:19/mile average. However, I ran the entire 6.2 miles and finished strong with a sprint through the finish chute! This was my first 10K evah, and I look forward to breaking this PR in the near future!
- Cooler temps
- a little moisture in the air to cool one off
- enough water/powerade stations
- Route with many spectators
- There were some dead spots along the way, where one could have really used a cheering section.
- The rain made me wet from head to toe - and my cell phone was sliding around in my sports bra towards the end... very uncomfortable.
Here's a collage of the weekend's festivities:
I know I have said it before, and I am going to say it again... If you are looking for a friendly, fun, and flat race course, you HAVE to check out the Fargo Marathon. Did you know that it is a Boston Qualifier?!
Have a great weekend, y'all. I look forward to catching up with you all, soon!