Summer Cross Country 5K Series a fun time

Here I am after the Summer Cross Country 5K Series in the hat I won as a participant prize. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I didn’t go into the Summer Cross Country 5K Series race this morning expecting to get a fast time, and that expectation turned out to be correct.

This morning’s 5K at WinterPlace Park was the first of two of these summer events. I headed over this morning for the 8:30 a.m. race despite getting back from a show in Rehoboth Beach at about 1:30 a.m. today.

I drank some water on my way over and at the park before the race began, and saw my friends Melissa and Rick. The race starts on grass. It felt like somewhat of a fast start, but my watch didn’t really reflect that.

For me, and probably for everyone, it certainly seems more tough to run on the grass than to run on the road. The course continued around the park, and I saw the arrows on the grass, so I figured I should run on the grass even though pretty much everyone seemed to be running on the road. I continued on the loop and my first mile split was called out at 8:55.

My watch was a little off, and didn’t hit Mile 1 till about 9:15. Mile 1 was just by the start of a loop in the woods area, and I followed the people in front of me on the trail. The course was also well-marked with arrows.

Upon emerging from the woods, there was about one mile left — the same loop around the park we had done to start. This time, I did opt for the road rather than the grass.

While it was hot, it didn’t feel anywhere near as hot and humid as the Hero 5K I did in St. Michaels, and the heat wasn’t bothering me that much. It seemed to be more of an overall/leg tiredness that was slowing me down a bit.

I was near one runner for much of the race, and I tried to kick it up a little bit near the end. He did finish in front of me, but I think it helped to have him there.

I ended up with a time of 28:24 — my new slowest 5K race time, but not one I’m really that disappointed with given the terrain. I think pretty much anyone would have a slower race on the grass and trail compared with a road race.

Overall male and female winners were awarded VP Shoes gift certificates, but there were prizes for all participants. When my name was called — pretty early on — I chose a Tim Kennard River Run hat from the prize area. Despite the fact that I’m not usually a hat-wearing person, I liked the hat and color a lot and also always run the Tim Kennard. We also all got Chick-Fil-A free milkshake cards for participating.

My watch ended up logging 3.04 miles, but I know I’ve done this race before and ended up with 3.11 or 3.1, so I’m not sure if that was a problem with the watch, or what.

The second and final race of the Summer Cross Country 5K Series — put on by Salisbury University cross country coach Jim Jones — is next Saturday, Aug. 13. The cost is $5, and today’s race and next Saturday’s race benefit Wicomico County’s Friends of Recreation & Parks. I work for Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism, but I have done this race in the past, too, before I worked there.

Race time is 8:30 a.m., with registration at 8 a.m. at WinterPlace Park.


Mile 1: 9:15

Mile 2: 9:36

Mile 3: 9:14

Last part (my watch had .04): 0:20

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