Local Race Recap: Hero Hustle 5K 2022

The Hero Hustle 5K, formerly known as the DBK 5K, is a fun small town race here in my hometown of DeBary, Florida. The race helps to fund the Kruid Charitable Foundation, which in turn benefits local and regional services for veterans. I ran this race under the old name twice before: DBK 5K 2016 and DBK 5K 2018.

Training & Goals
Since January 1st I've been working on coming back after a period of no running, managing knee pain, and working on losing some pandemic weight. Weight loss has stalled over the past couple of weeks, which has tanked my motivation, along with the start of our long hot and humid summer weather. I only got a couple of walks in during the weeks before this race. There's been little change in my knees. The pain remains, but remains manageable if I keep up with my strength work. A few weeks ago I changed my regular run/walk intervals to 2 minutes / 1 minute and I aimed to keep that up for the entire race, if I could. 

Race Day: May 21, 2022
I biked over to the race site on the other side of town, happy to take a newly paved multi-use trail for part of the way. The trails in and around our town have been a work in progress since we moved to DeBary and I'm so happy each time a new segment opens. I arrived‌ in plenty of time to lock up my bike and pick up my packet before the race began. After I got my stuff stowed, I hung out with some friends from WVR before it was time to run.  It was 72°F with sunny skies and oppressive 94% humidity when the race began at 7:30AM.

Mile 1: 12:38
I started out trying to keep it nice and slow as my body warmed up.

Mile 2: 12:13
Still feeling pretty good through this mile, happy to keep up my run/walk intervals. I shifted the interval shortly to run a bit of downhill before the water stop so I could walk through the stop.

Mile 3+: 12:10, :43 (according to my Garmin the course was a little short at 3:07 miles)
It still feels hard to run this "fast" but I was glad to complete this run while maintaining my run/walk goal.

After the Race
Free beer, bananas and oranges, chips and snacks were available for runners. The after-party for this race always includes a bunch of bounce houses, water slides, and other inflatable entertainment options. I stayed for a few beers,  watched the awards ceremony, and chatted with friends before heading home after a fun race morning.

Recommendation
I liked it when the race was called the DBK 5K because they used the name of the sponsor company to play on the name DeBary 5K. But I never liked the race shirts or the medals, which featured their mascot Bert (sorry Bert, and thanks for taking a selfie with me). With the new name, we have a new medal style and a much nicer t-shirt. 

As before, this race had very good course support and law enforcement out to keep the roads safe for runners. The price is good, the swag is good (nice soft cotton t-shirt and custom finisher medal), and the after race party is fun and well-stocked. Recommended for locals. 

Chip time: 37:41
Placement details: 7/24 in Age Group, 142nd overall out of 292 finishers
Race Amenities: Soft cotton shirt, custom finisher medal, good after party.
Cost: $29.63 for early registration

Race branded photos (c) Almost There Photography

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