Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k 2014

So this past weekend was the 2nd annual Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k at First UMC here in town. Seeing that my wife not only works at the church, but that a lot of the kids in her program are able to go to summer camp because of the proceeds of this event, I was obviously running this event again this year.

While I still have a serious hatred for 5k racing, I do enjoy this race for the simple fact that it is not around Lake Hollingsworth like just about every other 5k in town.

So since the race is on a different course, and it’s for a good cause, I went ahead and signed up for the race.

When I was picking up our bibs and goodie bags the night before the race, the ladies that organized the race were already congratulating me on winning this year’s race. I tried laughing them off, but they were certain I’d win after placing third last year. One even said that my only real competition was injured, so I was in pretty good shape to win.

What they didn’t know was that my plan for race morning was to get up early, head into town, and knock of 8-10 miles BEFORE running the 5k. Seeing as I’m only about 7 weeks out from the Blue Ridge Marathon, I need a lot more miles than just 3.1 on a Saturday.

Well, after oversleeping by about an hour on Saturday, I decided to forgo the long run opportunity, and just run the race instead. So I grabbed Bailey, and headed to the church. We got there with enough time for her to do her “thing” and me to get about a mile warm up in, and headed to the start line.

As the race started, there were a handful of kids that basically took off in a sprint. I tried to keep Bailey from going crazy with all of the kids, and we just focused on getting off to a good start. Once the kids dropped off, all of about 1/4 mile into the race, we settled into a groove behind the bike that was leading the way.


Bailey and I Were So Fast, This is The Only Evidence of Our Victory!

After the first mile, things were feeling pretty good, and B had stopped going crazy like she does at the start of every run, so we kept at it. We had done the first mile in 6:28, so I knew we were moving pretty good, I just hoped I didn’t go out to fast and could maintain this pace for the rest of the race.

As we blew past the second mile, I thought for a minute that I might actually have a chance at a new PR. I set a PR in last year’s race, but had blown it out of the water a few times during the Watermelon Races last summer. And since I’d really only been doing marathon training, not 5k training, I didn’t think there would be a chance I could touch my 20:21 in this race. But as we were coming around the corner with less than a 1/4 to go, it was actually possible.

When we got to the finish line, I checked the time. 20:24. Not quite a PR, but a good 30 seconds faster than I thought I would be. I was surprised, since there were no other runners around us for the entire race. Of course, I did have miss thing pulling me!

Last year, finishing 2nd in my age group won me an awesome plate decorated by one of the kids in the Neighborhood Ministries Department at the church. This year, the kids decorated some coffee cups. (Somebody in NM must know me well!)

Photo on 2014-03-12 at 14.36So now, I’m almost looking forward to next year’s race. I mean, I’ve got the plate and the coffee cup. What’s next, silverware? Soup bowl?

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!


Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k

This past weekend, my wife and I competed in a 5k race here in Lakeland.

Unlike the majority of 5ks in Lakeland, this one didn’t take place around Lake Hollingsworth. And while there is nothing wrong with running a race around Lake Hollingsworth, the different scenery/course was a very breath of fresh air.

Not only was the course new, but this was the first time that this particular race had been run. We ran in the 1st Annual, Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k, which was a fund raiser by First United Methodist Church to help kids attend summer camp. The opportunity to run a new race on a new course for a great cause was too much to pass up.

So I signed up.

The morning of the race was great, although some might argue that it was a touch on the chilly side. Temps were in the mid-to-high 50s, but the breeze was almost non-existent. While we were waiting for the race to begin, members of the church’s youth group praise band were singing songs out on the patio.

I had no plans of going very fast, but I have a hard time not giving it my all when I pin a race number to my shirt. So while a nice, easy 25-26 minute race was what I was shooting for, when the race started I took off a little faster than I had planned. When I got to the 1 mile mark and heard someone yell out 7:05, I thought maybe I should go ahead and push it a little bit. I hadn’t run a 5k in over 3 years, and 25 or 26 minutes would have been a PR anyway, so I kept my foot on the gas and went for it.

At 1 mile, I was cruising comfortably and in about 7th place overall. I was hoping to keep steady with the trio in front of me, and see if I could pick them off towards the end of the race. Instead, I got around all 3 of them before 1.5, and set my sights on the guy in 3rd, who was only a half a block in front of me. I passed him at about the 2 mile mark, and never looked back.

The two guys that were out in front of me were long gone, but I was pretty happy with the way the race was progressing. The last mile was a loop around Lake Morton before finishing back at the church. As I was going around the lake, I took a peek at my watch and knew I was in for a pretty good time. As I came to the final turn and last little bit up a (very small) hill, I accelerated as much as I could. When I crossed the line, I stopped my watch and was a surprised to see a 21:38. A few years ago, my goal was to one day be able to run a 5k in less than 24 minutes. I guess I took care of that.

My time was good enough for 3rd overall in the race (can anyone say slow field?), and 2nd in my age group, and for my efforts I got a pretty sweet prize. The kids in the Neighborhood Ministries program at the church were in charge of decorating the prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in each age group, and they decorated plates in whatever way they wanted to. Whoever decorated mine did a great job drawing a bunch of colorful spirals all over the plate, which really looks pretty neat.


Photo by The Wife

Plans are already in the works for next year, so I hope a few more people will be able to take part in the 2nd Annual Carol Marsh Kids 2 Camp 5k. I know I’ll be there.

I’ve got a plate to defend.