Local Race Recap: Hero Hustle 5K 2023

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 before: DBK 5K 2016; DBK 5K 2018; and Hero Hustle 5K 2022.

Training & Goals
Following painful bursitis in my left knee back in March, I've been taking it very easy with no training runs and no running at all since the Springtime Surprise races last month. My current thinking is I will avoid high impact work until after a planned trip to South Africa in August-September, and then pick up training for the fall races when we return home. In the meantime I hope to work on strength and try to keep up with other cardio, in the pool and on the bike. Motivation has been tough to find, so ... we'll see.

For this race I thought I'd try out my super easy 15/45 run/walk intervals and see how I felt, with no time goal in mind and no worries if I had to switch to all walking at any point.

Race Day: May 20, 2023
I biked over to the race site on the other side of town. 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. The weather was very similar to last year's event: 73°F with clear skies and 94% humidity when the race began at 7:30AM.

Mile 1: 14:24
This race is an easy run through quiet residential streets mixed in with a bit of light industry. I felt pretty good with the easy intervals after a short walking warm-up.

Mile 2: 14:19
Still feeling good! I tried to thank all of the police officers handling traffic at the intersections on the course. 

Mile 3+: 13:50, 1:29
I felt alright during the entire run -- good stuff! I was slow but kept my intervals throughout the race, though I did skip a run while walking through the water stop halfway through the race. Pleased to see the negative splits, too.

After the Race
Free beer, popcorn, shaved ice, chips, bananas and oranges were all available for runners. There was also a buffet with potato salad, pulled pork and hot dogs. 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 (where WVR was well-represented!), and chatted with friends before heading home after a fun race morning.

As before, this race had very good course support and law enforcement was out in force to keep the roads safe for runners. The roads aren't totally closed, but I feel the law enforcement presence is appropriate for the sleepy suburban streets of the course. 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, especially for locals. 

Chip time: 44:00
Placement details: 8/15 in Age Group, 223rd overall out of 312 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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