Local Race Recap: Bunny Hop 5K 2023

I ran the Third Annual Bunny Hop 5K on multi-use trails here in DeBary Florida on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023. It was my second time running this little local holiday race. Here's my recap.

Training & Goals
Seven years ago on the date of this race, I finally broke 30 minutes for a 5K distance (Freedom Elementary Falcon 5K 2016 remains my 5K PR). I wonder if I'll ever get back there again?

In the present day, I'm still struggling with my arthritic knees. I also suffered a very painful case of bursitis in my left knee that began with a sickening pop while casually walking back on March 4, 2023. I've been fairly diligent completing my PT stretching and strength work. I went out for a two mile run a few days before race day, but otherwise have been taking it easy and resting up for the last 5 weeks or so.

My mind is really on the Springtime Surprise Challenge races coming up next weekend, which I am hoping to complete despite the total derailment of my training in the 6 weeks leading up to those races. So my goal for this race was to see how my legs and knees would cooperate with some very slow easy run:walk intervals. I set my watch to 15/45 intervals (15 seconds of running followed by 45 seconds of walking).

Race Day: April 9, 2023
I love when there are races at Gemini Springs, because these are familiar running trails, and I can walk or bike to the start. On race morning, I arrived in plenty of time to get my packet, stow my stuff with my bike, and line up for the race. It was 66°F at the start with 94% humidity, overcast skies, and a stiff breeze. Despite the humidity it was pretty pleasant weather for running. 

Mile 1: 14:01
I began by walking for the first 2 minutes, to get out of some early congestion and to keep my footing on the loose gravel at the start. Once on the paved trail, I started my slow run:walk intervals.

Mile 2: 13:40
I don't think I've ever run 15/45 intervals, but it was okay. The run time felt good and the recovery walk time didn't feel too short. I think this was a good test -- these might work out for next weekend's runs.

Mile 3+: 13:42, :53
I came in at 42:14, much slower than last year's Bunny Hop but not as slow as I originally feared. My overall pace was 13:35 using the new, short intervals. And my knees felt okay afterwards. Like last year, my Garmin recorded a short final distance of 3:08 (not as bad as the 3:01 of last year).

After the Race
Just like last year, there was a very good spread of packaged bars and snacks, water, and bananas at the finish line.

Recommendation
This was a cute little race on our beautiful trail. Well-supported with good swag. The Easter Bunny was there, and there were activities for the youngsters, including some games and a kid's race. I'd recommend for locals.

Chip time: 42:14
Placement details: 5/10 in Age Group; 91/117 overall
Race Amenities: Cute tech shirt, finisher medal for all, video of start/finish 
Cost: $27.88

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