Run for the Animals 10K: Doughnuts, heat and more

Here I am with my finisher medal and a doughnut after the Run for the Animals 10K on April 15. (Veronica James photo)

I fueled up with some water and a Corner Bakery doughnut before heading under the new Run for the Animals 10K arch to begin a 6.2-mile journey in Onancock, Virginia.

It was a journey I was hoping might be in the 55-something range or faster. I’ve been trying to break my age group course record at this race for the 10K since 2016 — after I realized it was a reasonable goal. The April 15 race was my fourth year participating in the event; the first year I ran, I ran the half marathon.

Unfortunately for me, I’m now going to have to wait until a future age group to have a shot at breaking the record, as this year’s overall winner brought my age group course record to 43:10. That is an amazing time — but it is not a fathomable time for me personally.

Even though I ended up with a time of 58:46 — slightly under a 9:30/mile pace — at Sunday’s race, I had a lot of fun and got to eat a lot of great food. Particularly because of the heat, I certainly was not unhappy with the time.

Here I am with my medal for placing second in my age group at the Run for the Animals 10K.

The previous course record for my age group, female 25-29, had been 53-something. Even though I figured it was unlikely that I’d be that fast, I figured I would see what I could do. It worked for the first mile — I ran an 8:30. However, after that, I couldn’t keep up that pace.


I’d run a test 5K on my own recently and done that at an 8:46 average pace, but it wasn’t as hot for that as it was Sunday.

From left are me, Veronica and Lynn after the Run for the Animals 10K.

Pretty much immediately, it felt hot, particularly in the in-town sections. There is an out-and-back on a road that seemed a little less hot, probably because of the shade. I made stops for water and I knew the heat would affect my pace.

I ran the first three miles in barely under 27 minutes, but my next two miles were in the 10s because of my water stops and brief walks. Once I got closer to the end of the race, I picked it up, running a 9:09 as my last full mile. There was someone in my age group ahead of me, but I didn’t have the energy to catch her. I was near a man at the end — and even though he was clearly not in my age group since age groups are separated between men and women — I think we helped get each other going a little faster at the end; I know he helped me.

I ended up getting second in my age group (the overall winner was in my age group, but she was excluded from the age group results) and received a unique trophy. Finishers also received a medal.

Other swag included a blue tech shirt and a mug. I particularly love the mug — unique swag is great! There were so many color choices for the mugs that my friends and I had trouble picking which one to get. I decided to choose a pink one.

Shown are the event swag (shirt and mug), finisher medal and age group trophy. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

After the race, I enjoyed spending time with my friends, Veronica and Lynn, and eating, including more doughnuts (if you haven’t had Corner Bakery doughnuts, you need to) and fried chicken. There’s a large spread of food at this race that also includes various types of breads, chips, pasta salad, beer and more.


The race is also affordable; the earlier rate is $40 for any distance. Plus, runners get to aid Eastern Shore of Virginia animals through their race entries and optional fundraising.

It’s not often that I go to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, but I really enjoy making the trip for this race.


Mile 1: 8:30

Mile 2: 9:10

Mile 3: 9:16

Mile 4: 10:19

Mile 5: 10:13

Mile 6: 9:09

Last part (watch had .26): 2:07

Total time: 58:46 (watch had 58:47)

Previous recaps for this race: 2017, 2016, 2015

Check out my BibRave review — and write your own — here! 

Like She Runs by the Seashore here. 

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