Run for the Animals certainly worth returning to


Here’s the cool age group trophy I received after placing second in my age group in the Run for the Animals 10K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I already knew I wanted to come back to the Run for the Animals race in Onancock, Virginia, after last year, but I made the decision to run the 10K rather than the half marathon after realizing I might be able to earn the new age group record.

Here I am before the race with a paw print temporary tattoo that my friend Veronica had. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

For my new age group, women 25-29, the record, set in 2012, was 59:34. I figured that based on my previous times, it wouldn’t be difficult to beat that.

It actually turned out to be harder than I thought to beat that record during the race today — Sunday, April 10 — and as I saw the time on the clock as I neared the finish, I tried to go as fast as I could. I ended up with a time of about 58:50 — that’s what my watch logged; I’m not sure of my official time yet.

UPDATE: According to the results, my time was just what my watch had: 58:50.

It’s actually my new slowest 10K race, and while I am a little disappointed that I seem to be getting slower, I am certainly happy that I am staying healthy when it comes to my pace: I have not overworked myself to a dangerous point and become dehydrated. It’s now been more than two years since dehydration brought me to the hospital for a race, and I hope to continue that streak.

So, I did end up breaking the age group course record — barely — but I came in second in my age group, so someone else broke the record by more.

Here I am after finishing the Run for the Animals 10K on Sunday, April 10. (Veronica James photo)

It wasn’t an easy race for me. I struggled with shin splints/shin pain during much of the race, and ended up stopping twice to roll out my ankles. I wasn’t going as fast as I felt like I was. I also made sure to drink the water at the water stops.

The race itself, however, did seem to go by pretty quickly for me. I’ve been used to running longer distances recently, so a 10K did not seem too long, and I was glad I hadn’t decided to do the half marathon.

The race started late, and it was cold while we waited to get going — I was wearing shorts — but once I started running, I was completely fine with the long-sleeved shirt and shorts I decided to wear.

Even though the roads weren’t blocked off, I had no problems with cars.

I got to hang out with my friends Veronica and Nicole at the race, and there was a good small-town race environment.

The doughnuts that were there before the race smelled delicious, but even despite doing a doughnut run recently, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to eat one beforehand. Luckily, I was able to snag one afterward, along with other foods from the wide array of options.

Here I am with my second place award. (Veronica James photo)

I knew I was going to get a shirt and medal, but the hat I received at the end was also a nice touch. It fits well, and I wore it for my rec softball game later in the day. I also thought the age group trophy was awesome.

I’m not sure yet what the new record for women ages 25-29 is, but I will plan to be back next year to try to break it, as long as it’s within reason. Even if it isn’t, I still definitely want to return to this race.

UPDATE: The new record is 56:24, which is certainly within reach for me. I also saw that I came in second out of seven in my age group, which I feel better about than second out of two. Plus, I came in eighth out of 71 women, which is pretty cool.

You should come, too, as long as you’re not a woman who will be between the ages of 25-29 at next year’s race. Just kidding… sort of!


Mile 1: 8:39

Mile 2: 9:43

Mile 3: 9:23

Mile 4: 10:01

Mile 5: 9:19

Mile 6: 9:26

Last part (my watch logged .28, but I probably didn’t run the tangents well): 2:18

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