A police chase I signed up for: Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K recap

Here’s my finisher medal for the Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K in front of a Salisbury police vehicle. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

One of the signs at the Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K read, “Run Like You Stole It! But don’t steal, because that’s bad!”

The 5K course, held last Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Salisbury City Park as part of National Night Out, was filled with fun motivational signs. I appreciated them, and thankfully, one of my friends got a photo so I could accurately quote this one, which was my favorite.

Here I am after finishing the Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K.

The Foot Pursuit in the Park was added this year to Salisbury’s annual National Night Out festivities. The race started at 4 p.m., so I wasn’t initially planning on running because it was during my normal workday, but once I was able to arrange to leave early to work at an Eastern Shore Running Club table (I made up the time by working on another day and later), Cpl. Mike Loring convinced me to run. It turned out a lot of people were able to leave work early — a lot of my friends were there, and there were more than 100 participants.


The race started near the Bandstand at the Salisbury City Park. It happened to be an extremely hot and humid day — I’d looked at the temperature, and the “feels like” temperature was 103. I knew it wouldn’t be my fastest race, but I still wanted to make a strong effort.

I knew ahead of time there would be three water stops, and although I wouldn’t normally need to stop three times over 3.1 miles, I actually stopped briefly at each of the water stops and appreciated that they were there. It was more important for me to get the water I needed rather than make myself miserable in the heat.

The course covered a similar loop to the one I run often at the Salisbury City Park, with some parts of the course taking roads instead of my usual trail. It was nice that there was some shade, but the weather was certainly not ideal — however, it was an August afternoon, so that’s to be expected.

Here are the various swag items for the Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

As the finish line approached, there were vendors that had already set up, which provided a nice supportive boost as I neared the finish. I tried to give it what I had at the end, and apparently I did, because the last part on my watch, logged as 0.15, I ran at an 8:26 pace, while my average pace overall was 9:42.


My finish time was 30:28, which is actually the slowest 5K race time that I’ve run. I realize it is still a respectable time, and I was fine with it for Tuesday’s event. I had run four three-mile tempo runs recently, and this 5K time was faster than all of those, so I was pleased about that.

I haven’t raced much over the summer, and it was about a minute per mile slower than my most recent 5K — the eRace the Stigma 5K, which I ran in 26:59. That race was also in May, so it was nowhere near as hot and humid.

However, the day before the Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K, I had posted a Coaching Tip of the Week on the Eastern Shore Running Club social media pages that related to what percentage runners slow down in the heat. I reminded myself of this information as I ran.

After crossing the finish line, I received a high-quality finisher medal that is actually about the same size as a couple half marathon medals I received this year.

Here’s a view of the National Night Out activities at the Salisbury City Park. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The race was reasonably priced at $20 and offered a lot of swag, particularly for a 5K, including a reversible mesh tank top, a plastic cup, a reusable shopping bag and other items.

At 5 p.m., National Night Out began, which included various vendors, children’s activities and free hot dogs, chips and drinks for everyone. Although it was hot, it was a fun race!


Mile 1: 9:27

Mile 2: 10:02

Mile 3: 9:46

Last part (watch had 0.15): 1:14 (8:26 pace for that segment)

Total: 30:30 on watch (9:42 average pace); 30:28 on results (9:50 average pace)

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