Low key races can be a lot of fun. I have run some low-key races before but this was definitely the most low key. Actually, unwittingly I raced in the t-shirt from the CdLS race linked above!
I received an e-mail mid-week inviting me to run a 13-14 mile loop with some of the guys that would be followed by this 5K. The 5K was in memory of one of Mark’s Uncle who passed away earlier this year due to brain cancer. The training schedule called for 5 miles on Saturday and 11 on Sunday so I knew that either way the early morning run was out of the question, but with nothing better to do on a Saturday morning while my wife recovered from pulling a double at work I opted to go to North St Paul and do the Karate Kickin’ Cancer 5K.
I arrived really early on accident and took a leisurely stroll along the Gateway Trail where the race would be held. The race was sponsored by the Unified Martial Arts Academy. Owner Cory is the son of Roger who passed away on April 20. This was the third annual event with previous years being more of a fun event for the kids and families of the Academy. This year’s focus was on remembering Roger and raising money for cancer research (we now have mesothelioma explained thanks to the same kind of research done). They did that part exceptionally well raising $9,640 for the HealthEast Foundation in Saint Paul.
It was an interesting approach with no set entry fee, t-shirts only if you pre-registered, no race numbers, no official timing, but water available at the turn around and finish line. The course left the Academy parking lot and went to the Gateway Trail then proceeded out about 1.5 miles before turning around and coming back to the parking lot. The start/finish lines were in the same place.
The first mile had some turns and narrow pathways at the beginning. There were a lot of kids at the start doing their all out sprint and then petering out. They quickly faded after we hit the trail in the first tenth of a mile or so. The walkers were allowed to start walking any time that they wanted so there were already a lot of walkers on the course when we started and we had to wind our way through them. We had two road crossings in the first 1/4 or so without anyone stopping traffic, luckily it wasn’t a problem for me. The pack quickly split apart with a group of 3 then another guy and then me. It pretty much stayed this way the whole race! I came through the mile in a comfortable 6:29.
The trail is pretty flat but there was one bridge in this part that had a pretty noticeable hill but then had a downhill which is nice too! The first half of this mile was downhill to the turn around. The turn around was a water stop and a clown standing in the middle of the road. The guy in front of me took water, so I opted not to – gaining a few seconds on him! So the second half mile was uphill but it was pretty gradual, except for the bridge crossing. I slowed down, despite trying to catch the guy in front of me, running a 6:47 mile.
The last mile was nothing exceptional. I still managed to get by both road crossings without having to stop for traffic. At some point I started hearing footsteps behind me and was pretty determined not to get passed at this point in the race. I tried to keep picking up the pace and slowly drew the other guy in. When we got off the trail the guy in front of me decided to take some shortcuts through a parking lot back to Frontage Rd. I made the quick decision to follow him, I was more eager to beat him instead of getting the “accurate” course. I did catch him as we leaped a gravel median and sprinted to the finish. My GPS said it was 0.91 miles in 5:54 which is 6:28 pace.
So my total run of 2.91 was in 19:11. This was slower than last week but it wasn’t a track and I still trained hard all week!
Overall this was fun. I got 4th place overall, but there aren’t any awards or anything. There was a picture taker at the finish line so we’ll see if I can find the pictures later!
[tags] 5K, Race Review, Karate, Cancer [/tags]