Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My First 5K! Sunburst 2010

 By: Jeff

Since January I have been preparing for my first 5K.  This past Saturday (June 5, 2010) I took on this challenge at the Sunburst races in South Bend.

On Friday night I drove over to South Bend to pick up my bib and my timing chip.  I was pleasantly surprised with how easy that process was.  There were a few people, but it was by no means crowded.  Saturday morning I woke up early to take my son to the babysitters.  I was in downtown South Bend about 40 minutes before the start.  It was fun to watch people mill about and talk about their race strategies.  Fifteen minutes before the start time they announced everyone to begin lining up on the road for the start of the race.  There where 3,169 runners in the 5K.  The road could not handle the mass of people, so I just stood off to the side of the road, towards the back of the crowd, and took a picture with my cell phone. There was the singing of the National Anthem.  And then the gun went off, the race was underway.

The Start:

So as people started to move towards the start line they would move, and then stop, and then move, and then again stop.  Brent has talked about this before, and apparently it is a common phenomena at most races.  After a couple of minutes I crossed the start line and eased into a nice beginning pace.  I was feeling pretty good, Brent joined me for the first half mile, then he had to return for the start of his 10K race.  I ran the first, lets call it three-quarters of a mile.  Then there was a little downhill towards the St. Joseph River.  Once you crossed the bridge over the river, which is a little over a mile into the race, the course goes uphill for about the next three quarters of a mile.  This was defiantly the toughest section for me, and I probably walked more of it, then I ran.  I passed the two mile marker, and honestly felt like I was having a slow race.  Mile three was mostly flat, and I ran more then I walked.  Finally I saw the stadium.  By far the coolest part of the race was entering Notre Dame Stadium through the tunnel.  The finish line is at the 50 yard line in the stadium.

The Finish:

So I made sure that I ran all the way through the tunnel and all the way to the finish line.  When I crossed the line they announced my name on the P.A. system, which was kind of cool.  After the race I got some grapes and some water.  People mostly just hung out on the field.  I got to watch the winner of the 10K cross the finish line.  I also got to see my friend Gary cross the line.  I stayed and watched as Brent had a strong finish to his 10K.  Overall it was a lot of fun and I finished with a time of 0:46:16, which is better than I thought I did, but not as good as what I wanted to do.  So that means I have to keep training, and start working on my next race.  Brent will have a review of his 10k posted soon.
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