Ele-fun Run 5K
August 5, 2017
This whole marathon attempt in a few weeks may very well not go as hoped. I haven’t lost the weight I wanted to lose, I haven’t done the speed work I should’ve done and the weather, as always, is unpredictable.
But my summer of small, mostly low-key, fun races has allowed me to keep my sanity through it all and have kept me from “over-training,” as I’ve done in the past. My legs have stayed fresh.
I swapped my 22-mile run from Saturday to Thursday to make room for this fun little inaugural 5K at the Topeka Zoo.
With all-morning rain in the forecast and it being a first-year event, I didn’t expect much of a turnout. It was better than expected. The guy running the thing said 93 registered and 82 showed up to run or walk.
Sure enough, it rained throughout the race. Nothing torrential, but enough to form several puddles to run through. The course was four loops around the zoo, so I was able to get some cheers all along the way, which was nice.
I jumped out to an early lead and unlike most races, when I start super fast and can’t hold it, I was able to maintain a mostly steady pace and led throughout the race.
By early on in the third loop, the guys in second and third were out of sight when I turned around to look behind me. I figured as long as I kept it steady-ish, I could hold on for the win — and I did.
I crossed the finish line in 21:31 — a good 2 minutes and 59 seconds slower than my PR. Buuuuut, it was good enough for the win and faster than I expected to be — especially two days after running 22-plus miles. So I was happy with it.
This was my 11th overall victory (2 10K, 7 5K, 1 4K, 1 1-mile) and my 40th 5K. I don’t run many of those any more these days and never truly try to race them, but when I have a chance to compete, I take it.
Update: I’ve recently added the virtual races I’ve done to the count of my race totals, making this actually my 42nd 5K.
This race came with an entrance to the zoo, but in the rain, we didn’t get to see much — specifically, no elephants. Bummer. But we did get to see the giraffes (indoors) and walked around the rainforest exhibit for a bit.
I love the zoo and had a lot of fun with this event — and not just because I happened to win the race. But, yeah, that wasn’t a bad bonus.
The consensus was that they planned to do this event again next year. I hope so. I would return to do it again.