Local 5K Race Report: Dash for Downs 5K 2016

Hey, look, it's another race at Gemini Springs! This was the inaugural running of the Dash for Downs, which was held in conjunction with Welcoming Hearts' 2nd Annual Spring Festival. Proceeds from the race and the festival support Welcoming Hearts' mission to help those with special needs.

Training & Goals
Still running 3x a week, my training at this time was focused on preparing for my first half marathon coming up in mid-April. I had run a nine-miler the Wednesday before this race, with about 20 miles total for the week. As usual, I hoped to PR, because as a newer runner that was my normal!

Race Day: March 19, 2016
Race morning I headed over to Gemini Springs on my bike. I got my packet, bib, and t-shirt and secured the bike against what I hoped was an out-of-the-way tree. It looked to be a small race. I noticed there was no singing or playing of the National Anthem before the start. We started more or less on time with the race director shouting READY SET GO! It was 70° and overcast but not too muggy.

Mile 1: 9:40
This route was very similar to the Rotary River Run from February. I didn't take any walking breaks for this part of the race.

Mile 2: 10:15
I was still feeling pretty good, but my pace slowed. I took a short walking break at about mile 1.5, close to the turn-around. I was very surprised where the turn around was located, since I guessed it was nearly a quarter mile shy of the turn-around point for Rotary Run.

Mile 3*: 9:25
Approaching the finish area, I could see my Garmin was tracking the race shorter than a full 5K. As I sprinted to the finish line, I could hear the timing guy shout an encouraging "You're under 30 minutes!" But you can see by the look on my face I knew it wasn't going to be a PR after all.

In the end my Garmin gave my distance as 2.9 miles. I approached a small group of runners who were chatting and asked if anyone else tracked the race on GPS. Another guy confirmed it was a short race. Bummer!

After the race was over, the results were posted online. I could see that I placed so I wanted to wait for the medal ceremony, but the timing guy didn't know where the race director was. I decided to check out the festival and made a note to myself which stands I wanted to revisit to pick up some tasty treats. I took a photo with this character.

I was about to get a free massage when I heard the medals were about to be distributed so I ran over. Even though it was a small race (125 participants) it was still cool to hear my name called out as first in my age group. I collected my medal, got my free massage (so good!) and bought a celebratory cupcake or two to bring home.

Chip time: 29:10 (approximately 2.9 mile course)
Placement details:
1st of 8 in age, 16th overall out of 125 finishers
Race Amenities:
Swag included a short sleeve cotton t-shirt. I got a 5K placement medal. A small festival to visit after the race.
Cost: $27.50 including $2.50 transaction fee

*This was a short race.

Report written April 19, 2016
All photos except character picture (c) race photographer Chasity Hanners.

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