Local Race Recap: Melissa's Race 5K 2024

I ran this local charity race for brain cancer for the fourth time this May (previous runs were Melissa's Race 2019, Melissa's Race 2021, and Melissa's Race 2022; I also participated virtually in 2020).

Melissa's Race is put on by Melissa Vosburg, Inc, a charity devoted to supporting brain cancer research through awareness education and fundraising.

Training & Goals
I haven't been training or really feeling well for some months, since before my Graves' Disease diagnosis back in January 2024. The night before the race I was feeling really down. Arthur agreed to come along with me which made me feel a lot better. I'm glad I participated but with every race I feel less and less like a runner and that makes me sad. I'm not sure I'll ever get my fitness back. So for this race I just wanted to walk it, try to keep a brisk pace and see where I ended up. 

Race Day: May 4, 2024
Arthur and I headed out around 6:20AM to make our way to Sanford, just down the road from our home. We found a good parking spot and made our way to the start area. I picked up my packet and left my bag with my run club tent. 

I was excited to see there were a few 501st at the race for May the Fourth. I was wearing one of my favorite race shirts, from the inaugural Dark Side Half Marathon, so I had to get a photo with the bad guys doing good.

I was in the second start wave, and I made sure I was in the back since I'd be walking. It was about 66°F at the start with 94% humidity and clear sunny skies. I crossed the starting mat at 7:06AM.

Mile 1: 16:59
I felt alright heading out on the new course (I think it was new last year but I missed that run). With the staggered start the field always opens up quickly which is nice; I could keep to the right to let others pass and ease to the left easily when my walking pace was faster than others. The first mile takes runners through streets of downtown Sanford before the course becomes an out-and-back along beautiful Lake Monroe.

I found some club mates walking together and joined them for a bit before moving on, wanting to see how fast I could go if I was really trying.

Mile 2: 16:05

Mile 3+: 16:32, 2:04
The run back is in full head-on sun, but I was feeling alright and the sun didn't seem to bother me like it usually does. I had my watch alert me if my heart rate reached a certain threshold, and it hit the high rate a few times during this mile. My pace was all over the place during this mile as I would slow down and concentrate on my breathing with each alert. My heart rate wasn't close to being dangerously high; I'm trying to keep it relatively low, even during activity, to protect my heart as my meds are being adjusted to stabilize my thyroid function.

Recommendation
This is a well-organized local race for a very good cause. On course support was great as always. There were volunteers throughout, including lots of cheering spectators and two water stops, one of which we hit twice. The support afterwards is very good as well, with treats for runners and several local vendor booths with the freebies, contests, and giveaways. On a personal level, there is always a great turnout from my local run club so I see a lot of friendly faces at this annual run. Recommended.

Chip time: 51:38
Placement details: 44/63 in Age Group, 607 overall out of 840 finishers
Race Amenities: Nice cotton logo t-shirt, nice suncatcher finisher medal for all, drawstring backpack
Cost: $33.50

Branded photos (c) Almost There Photography

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