Run, White & Blue 5K: Faster time, full belly and fun event

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I told you the food was awesome! Here’s my first round of food (everything I got but the ice cream and bottled water) from the Run, White & Blue 5K on Thursday, Sept. 7.

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

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Here I am with my bib before the start of the Run, White & Blue 5K at Delaware Technical Community College. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The day of the Run, White & Blue 5K, I posted on my blog Facebook page that I wanted to run my fastest 5K of the year at the event.

 

I figured that would help make the goal more real, and I would have to follow up with whether I met this goal. It worked — I ran my fastest 5K of the year by just more than a minute.

The Run, White & Blue 5K and 1 Mile Walk is at Delaware Technical Community College’s Jack F. Owens Campus in Georgetown. It helps fund the college’s scholarships for veterans and first responders, according to the race website. There was also a bunch of awesome food at the post-race party! But, before I get to that, I’ll go over the race.

The course is two loops — runners turn off at a different point on the second loop to finish the race — on roads through/around the Del Tech campus.

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Here’s the race T-shirt, along with my bib and my second-place age group medal. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I started out with a fast-for-me first mile of 8:12. I noticed that while I was running, I felt something in my throat that I hadn’t felt in a while. I figure it was because I was running much faster than I usually do; sometimes I also feel something in my throat when it’s cold (although cooler than normal, it wasn’t that cold).

 

I have been feeling in some of my recent races like I could go faster than I did, so that’s why I decided to really try to give it my all on Thursday evening. The race started just after 6 p.m. Sept. 7, and the weather was great for running — I would have taken colder weather, too, but for a summer race, it was ideal.

I felt good during the race and did get some water at the water stop — given my past dehydration issues, I like to stay on the safe side, and drinking water during a race always seems to give me a little boost — but I was still able to keep up a strong pace.

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USA! (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I came in with a final time of 26:33, which landed me second place in the female 20-29 age group. My average pace was 8:36/mile, according to the race results.

 

The overall female winner would have also been in my age group, but she was not counted for the age group awards since she was the first female. I’m glad I was not in the female 15-19 age group, because there were 70 people in that age group! A lot of high school athletes came out for this race.

This was my sixth 5K of the year, and prior to this one, my fastest 5K in 2017 had been 27:39, so although I’m still far from my PR, I was happy to shave a minute off that 2017 time. Thursday evening’s race was my fastest 5K since June 2016.

My watch logged the course at 3.1 miles, which was nice — that doesn’t always happen at a 5K.

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I love oysters, so having them at the post-race party was a nice surprise. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

If you read my recap from last year or my preview from this year, you know that I raved about the food at this race.

 

After finishing, participants could choose between a dinner of chicken with sides or pizza. I went for the chicken, along with pasta salad and corn on the cob (there were also baked beans available, and I’m pretty sure there were bananas, too). While we were in line, someone mentioned that there were oysters, and sure enough, JD Shuckers had a table with raw oysters, so I put some of those on my tray, too, before heading over to get a Mispillion River Brewing beer.

After holding as much as I could in one trip, I found where my friends were sitting and enjoyed the meal. Of course, I was already thinking about getting some ice cream, and Hopkins Farm Creamery was there with three flavors — I chose the black raspberry, and it was great.

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Here I am with my post-race ice cream. Yum! (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I hadn’t seen the results ahead of time, so I was pleasantly surprised to get second in my age group. Once I heard the third place time, I knew I must have placed, and when my name was called, I went up to receive a medal.

 

I do a lot of the same races year after year, so I was also happy to see that my time on this course improved — last year was my first year running this race, and I ran it in 27:02. The course start and end were slightly different, but most of the course was the same. It’s also a flat course.

I think I can say this is one of my annual races now that I’ve participated two years! I’m definitely planning to return next year.

 

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Here I am right after receiving my second place age group medal. (Rosie Brittingham photo)

Splits, according to watch: 

 

Mile 1: 8:12

Mile 2: 8:50

Mile 3: 8:47

Last 0.1: 0:46

Official time: 26:33 / 8:36 pace (watch had 3.1 miles and 26:35 / 8:35 pace)

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