Summer Cross Country 5K Series race a little faster than last year’s

Here I am after finishing the Summer Cross Country Series 5K race on Aug. 5. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I run several races year after year, so it’s fun to be able to compare times on the same course.

Earlier this month, I ran the Summer Cross Country 5K Series race at WinterPlace Park, where I ran the course 14 seconds faster than last year.

In the past, there have been two or three races in the series, but this year, there was just one, on Saturday, Aug. 5. The races benefit Wicomico County Friends of Recreation & Parks (I will note that I work for Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism). The races have been $5 in the past, and this year, the one race was $10.

There is a nice, friendly atmosphere at these races, and some of my friends were also there. This year’s race was the day after I ran the On The Bacon Trail – The Naylor Mill 7K.

The course includes grass around WinterPlace Park in Salisbury and about a mile on the trails at the park. It’s the second mile that’s in the trails, and my times show it. My Garmin logged the first mile as 8:57, the second at 9:45 and the third at 9:05. The watch had 3.05, so the last part was logged in 0:22.7.

My official time was 28:10, which beat last year’s time of 28:24. As I’ve noted before, all my 5K race times this year have been very close. This race was my slowest, which I’m not complaining about because it was on trails, and it was run during the summer. My fastest time this year so far was 27:39 at the Crystal City Twilighter 5K.

Here’s the bag I picked out as my prize at the Summer Cross Country Series 5K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Despite the trail terrain (and the trails aren’t very technical), the course is flat. My Garmin logged 0 feet of elevation gain.

The top two male and female runners received gift certificates from VP Shoes, and there were prizes for all the runners who participated. Jim Jones, Salisbury University’s cross country and track & field coach who organizes the races, calls out names randomly, and people come up to pick their prizes. I got a cool Brooks bag that I used as a beach bag this past weekend. There were also plenty of shirts as prizes; in past years, I have received a shirt, a hat and a deck of playing cards as my prizes.

The races are open to anyone, but word gets out via an email sent to past participants. Feel free to ask me next summer about the races, and this year, I posted when this year’s race was on my blog Facebook page.

This was my fourth year participating in the Summer Cross Country Series, and I plan to be back again next year!

Splits (according to watch):

Mile 1: 8:57

Mile 2: 9:45

Mile 3: 9:05

Last Part (watch had .05): 0:22.7

Total Time: 28:10 (official – watch had 28:11).

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