I always like it when races have speakers beforehand, because it helps to show the true meaning of each event. That was the case at the Running for Recovery 5-miler last weekend in Westminster, Maryland, which benefits Rising Above Addiction.
Before the runners set off on the course at the Wakefield Valley Golf Course (no longer used as a golf course) the morning of Saturday, June 10, we heard from Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo and Keith Mills of 98 Rock.
My mom, Valerie, and sister, Lisa, also took part in the race. Lisa invited us, and I was happy to make the trip, even though I didn’t get much sleep the night before after my softball games (I took a long nap later in the day)!
The 5-mile course consisted of two 2.5-mile loops on the paved trail in the golf course. There was also a 2.5-mile walk. I enjoyed the scenery along the way.
It was not a chip-timed course — which is totally fine; that’s the kind of timing we do with the Eastern Shore Running Club — but the start was a little narrow. It didn’t make a difference to me or my time, as I just started near the front of the pack. During the race, I didn’t have any problems with crowding.
The group started out fast, and my first mile was 8:48. That would be my fastest mile of the day. The top male and female runners had the chance to win $250, which was a pretty awesome perk. I picked out a couple fast-looking women before the race began, and they were the top two female finishers.
I live in a flat area, so I was a little worried about hills, since Westminster has some steep ones. The course wasn’t as hilly as I thought it would be — there were some smaller rolling hills, but there weren’t any hills that I had to walk up or any that were horribly steep.
There was a water stop in the middle of the course, where I stopped for a couple cups of water. It wasn’t miserably hot, but it did get hotter toward the end.
I ended up with a time of 48:12 (results can be found here), which is a 9:38/mile pace. My watch logged 5.17 miles, but I think I heard something about the course being wheeled, which is the most accurate measurement.
I was thinking ahead of time it would be my fastest 5-miler as my first one, but somehow I forgot about last year’s Five on 25 prediction run, where I was a little faster (47:29).
After the race, there were coffee and bagels for runners. First-place winners in age groups were also recognized and received envelopes (with I’m assuming some sort of prize), but there were several people in my age group ahead of me.
During the race, I noticed a runner with an ankle monitor — who was ahead of me, by the way. I don’t know the runner’s story, but I see that as such a positive thing — it shows that someone can go through hardship and turn to a healthy activity with such a great community surrounding it.
There was another runner on the course who said in passing something like, “The smoking’s catching up with me.” I encouraged him, saying something like “You’re doing great,” or something like that. I think it’s awesome he was out there — and since we were at the same spot in the course, I did think he was doing great!
On the back of the shirt is a design that says “Road to Recovery.” It would be awesome if some of the people struggling with addiction are able to make running part of that road.
Mile 1: 8:48
Mile 2: 9:21
Mile 3: 9:32
Mile 4: 9:25
Mile 5: 9:35
Last part (watch had 5.17 total): 1:35
Watch total: 48:19 (9:21/mile) / Official time: 48:12 (9:38/mile)
Learn more about Running for Recovery and Rising Above Addiction here.
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