Fun and food at the Run, White & Blue 5K

I was offered (and accepted) a free entry to this race in exchange for two blog posts; one before the race and one after. Any opinions are my own. 

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Here I am with some ice cream after the Run, White & Blue 5K at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown.

I am a big fan of food, and the amount of food at the end of the Run, White & Blue 5K at Delaware Technical Community College’s Jack F. Owens Campus in Georgetown, Delaware, was overwhelming. A full dinner, ICE CREAM, snowballs, pizza, beer … it was awesome!

But I can’t talk too much about the after-party before I talk about the actual race, which took place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. First of all, I was extremely flattered to receive a free entry to this race. I love blogging, but it’s nice to see that others see value in it. Three people actually talked to me about my blog at the race, which I was also quite happy about. One of them even mentioned the live-tweeting I did of the Rehoboth Seashore Half Marathon last year without realizing it was me (of course I said it was!).

I parked by The Wall that Heals, which was set up at the college and will be until 4 p.m. Sept. 4. It was sad to think about all the lives lost; there were so many names listed on this Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica. (Learn more about its stop in Georgetown here.)

The race benefits a veterans’ scholarship at the college.

I continued onto packet pickup and upon typing in my registration info I spoke with a woman named Jane, who suggested that I try the Pump & Run. It’s a challenge in which runners have two minutes to bench-press an amount of weight as many times as they can in order to take 4 seconds off per rep — in the Pump & Run competition, not the overall results.

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Fellow running blogger Kristen Jones and I pose for a photo after the race.

I never lift weights (unless you count a 5-pound weight that I use during parts of my weekly abs workout) and did not expect to do well, but I figured upon her suggestion that it would be something to try and blog about. I had to bench press 50 pounds — the bar plus 5 pounds — and it was tough, but I was able to get in 26 repetitions. I felt a little wobbly, but the people who were around that area said I was doing well. Time seemed to be going by slowly during this exercise, and I couldn’t even continue lifting the bar for the entire two minutes. I didn’t win, but it was fun to try, and I felt good about being able to lift it 26 times. This part was sponsored by World Gym Millsboro.

I was hoping it would be a bit cooler because it felt cool when I went to work that morning and it also rained that day, but the race still felt hot — although not as hot as some previous races I’ve done this year. It felt like a fast start, and I ran the first mile in 8:33.

During the race I was thinking I wanted to finish ahead of at least some of the high school students. There were so many of them, and now that I think about it, I have been running for the majority of some of their lives (I’ve been running for 12 years). There was also a whole field hockey team there and I was thinking about how running isn’t even their primary sport, yet a decent amount of the players were still ahead of me.

However, there were some fast high schoolers, and I didn’t feel bad about my time at the end. The course included one longer loop and one shorter loop. When I continued along on the first loop, I saw the turn-off point for the second loop, which was nice to know mentally because I knew I wouldn’t have to do the entire loop twice. The whole race was on the college campus.

I walked just once, at the water stop. The mile including that walk break was 8:57, according to my watch, and I wanted to try stepping it up for the last mile. Although it felt like I was going faster, my last mile was 8:54, according to my watch.

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There was a lot of food to eat after the race! (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I was certainly tired at the end and enjoyed my water bottle before filling up a plate for dinner and getting another water bottle. The pieces of chicken were so big I couldn’t even finish mine. I was excited to get some of the ice cream and even would have paid for some, but it was being given out for free at the Vanderwende’s truck. I also got a Mispillion River craft beer.

My watch had logged a time of 27:00.04, so I was hoping maybe if I hit my watch a little bit late, I could have just barely made it under 27 minutes. I saw a posted time of 26:58 (and I think about 59 milliseconds) for me, but the online results say 27:02. The online results also have the chip and gun times as being the same for everyone, but the exact time is not super important to me as it wasn’t a PR.

I ended up with second place in the female 20-29 age group. Only three seconds separated me and the runner who came in third in my age group, and I originally thought I had come in third. We were apparently so close that the chip and gun times made a difference.

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Here’s my second-place medal with the race shirt. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Although I’d love to get back to my days of running 5Ks in the 24-25 minute range (or faster), I was happy with my performance. I ran about an 8:43 mile pace (8:46 according to my watch), and that’s definitely fast for me. This was also much faster than the past two 5Ks I participated in, the first race of the Summer Cross Country 5K Series and the Salisbury Fire Department Downtown 5K Fun Run.

My watch did come in at 3.08 miles, but as much as I’d like my watch to be completely accurate, I know the GPS is not always correct. And that’s pretty close anyway.

This is a race I plan to have on my calendar next year!

Splits (my watch logged 3.08 miles):

Mile 1: 8:33

Mile 2: 8:57

Mile 3: 8:54

Last part: 0:36

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