I’m really behind in keeping up my blog but I do want to write a race report for the running events that I have completed – even if quite a bit of time has passed.
Last month (4/20), the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team held their annual D-Backs Race Against Cancer 5K run in downtown Phoenix. I don’t run many 5K races any more but I had heard this was a fun race and several members from Kilty Pleasures were signed up as well. The race entry fee also includes a ticket to a Diamondbacks game and starts and finishes at the baseball stadium.
The day before the race, Paul and I went out for a rather indulgent breakfast (which involved stuffed French toast) and then he drove downtown. This way I could pick up my race packet by jumping out of the car while he drove around the block, instead of me trying to find a parking place near the stadium. Since I had never done this race before, I didn’t know what to expect on race day. The pre-race information made it sound like I should use the light rail trains on the race morning to avoid parking congestion. If that was the case, I didn’t want to get my race bag and stuff at the race because I wouldn’t have anywhere to keep it (they usually don’t have a gear check place for 5K races). Getting ahead of myself but let’s just say I took my chances on race day and tried to park downtown – and I ended up easily getting a spot right at the starting line. After all of that, the packet pick-up tents were right by my car. Lesson learned for next year – I can just wait until race day. Anyway, it was a nice Saturday morning with just Paul…almost like a morning “date”.
I got up bright and early on Sunday morning and drove downtown. Many times I don’t know anyone at the race but I had a good time here pre-race because I met up with quite a few people and took pictures, etc. It was neat how runners from several different branches of my ‘running family tree’ were there and we all had a connection with each other somehow. The first were my friends from Kilty Pleasures Ragnar races, John and Kat – and then Will and Mike were around too running with the Arizona Track and Trail group that day. Meredith from the original From Fat to Finish Line team lives in Phoenix and she and her husband were there – they are part of Kilty Pleasures as well too. I’ve hung out with them at several events over the past year including the Vegas Rock n’ Roll half marathon and the Phoenix Women’s half marathon earlier this year. Also with us was a couple, Ken and Colleen, that I have ‘met’ through the From Fat to Finish Line Facebook group and then later in person in Las Vegas. These two live near Omaha but are probably THE biggest AZ Diamondbacks fans I have ever seen – and they flew out just for this race and to see several baseball games.
Meredith is a bit faster than me and we were both hoping to run a sub-30 minute 5K. I knew it was very unlikely for me, Meredith had done it before and had a shot at it. Neither one of us felt very confident in our training though but agreed to at least start out together.
The weather was perfect. I really thought the race was going to be miserable based on the
weather forecasts that had called for rain all day. The course was a very flat loop through the streets in downtown Phoenix. It wasn’t terribly pretty but we did swing by the state capitol building about halfway, so that was nice. I started out fast, too f
ast, and my goal quickly shifted from a sub-30 5K to just getting in one sub-10:00 mile and then crashing for the rest. And, I did that at least. It had been a while since I’ve run a mile at that pace because I am usually trying to save myself for the distance. After the first mile I pretty much fell apart, but I didn’t really care. It was just a good day to run and I’m glad I had met at least one goal.
They did have medals for this 5K, which I think is overkill – but I know it is a motivating factor to encourage people to register for races.
Meredith finished just a few seconds over 30 minutes so she was both happy and
frustrated. I came in next and we hung out a while and waited for the others. John and Kat are both injured so they walked the race. When we all met up again, we were able to enter Chase Field, the baseball stadium, to walk on the field and take pictures. That was pretty fun. They had roped off the playing infield and outfield to protect the grass, etc. but we could walk on the outside warning tracks, go into the dugouts, and walk behind home plate, etc. They had a camera for the stadium focused on the on-deck circle so you could stand there and see yourself up on the big screen. I guess last year they had the finish times scrolling on the screen as well – I think I’m glad they didn’t do that this year.
As we were leaving the stadium, the giant bobble-head Diamondbacks “legend” guys (Randy Johnson, Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams) came running out – they are game-time favorites that run around the field between innings similar to the tradition that many baseball stadiums have with the “ketchup-mustard-relish” races. We all hung out and talked for a bit longer and then the rain that had held off nicely, started falling. There were some other family fun-runs (1 mile, etc.) scheduled after the 5K, I imagine they got a bit wet.
It was a fun race, decent crowd and the added extras of the baseball ‘perks’ made it one that I would probably sign up for annually. I’d like to get some of my kids out for the next one. Maybe I’ll get that sub-5K there next year. It would be a good, flat course for it!
My not-so-great race stats – but I’ll take the sub-10:00 (barely!) for mile 1: