Run, White and Blue 5K: Racing to finish-line food

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Here I am with my Holy Cow ice cream from Vanderwende Farm Creamery after finishing the Run, White and Blue 5K on Sept. 6.

Disclaimer: I 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. 

I came home from the Run, White and Blue 5K on Thursday, Sept. 6, with a meal for the next day. There’s always so much food at this race, which certainly makes it worth the 40-45-minute drive from Salisbury.

But before we get into the post-race party, I’ll write about how my race went. I left early from work, but not as early as I originally planned to. Then, I fed the cats, changed and left at about 5 p.m. or a little before. This meant I was cutting it close for the race, which started at 6 p.m.

In the past, I’ve gotten a close parking spot at the Delaware Technical Community College Owens Campus for this race. This year, though, between arriving later than I wanted to and an election happening, I ended up parking kind of far away. I ran (literally) to get my shirt and bib, then ran back to the car to put the shirt away and back to the start.

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Here are this year’s race shirt, the pumpkin bib — I enjoyed the fall theme even though it didn’t feel like fall — and my age group medal. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Once I started the race, I looked at my watch when I was near my car, and it was just under half a mile. The course didn’t take the most direct route, but it was a bit of a hike to my car. Either way, I was happy to be back at the start in time for the race to begin, and I had unintentionally warmed up — it could have helped me!

 

It was hot and humid the evening of the race. There was even an announcement made before the race about adjusting our paces. While I knew I wouldn’t be as fast as I could possibly be on a cooler day, I still wanted to see what I could do — while being safe and hydrated.

I ran the first mile in 9:19. There was a water stop between the half-mile and mile marks. We passed this one twice, and there was another water stop, so there were three total. I ended up stopping at all of them. On a hot day, I think having these water stops is crucial, even for an experienced runner like me.

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So much food! This was all included as part of the post-race cookout. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The course entails a loop around the campus, and then a second loop that includes most of the first loop — but the end is a little different. There are a ton of high school athletes that come out to this race, and I was near some of them as I ran. I could hear them talking about how slow they were.

 

In my second mile, I took a short walk after the water stop, so that mile clocked in at 9:56. I ran my last mile in 9:20. I tried to speed up at the end of the race. When I crossed the finish line, my watch read 3.06. Although I know watch GPS units are not always accurate, I wanted to see 3.1 on the watch. So, I pulled off my bib tab to give to the timing person, took a water bottle and ran the end. I logged that last 0.11 in 0:54, an 8:40 pace.

My official time was 29:06, with my time on the watch (including the extra bit) as 29:30.

Right after the finish line, there was a firetruck shooting a bunch of water into the air. People could head over and stand under the spray, which I did. It felt nice on a hot day.

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Here I am after the race with my age group award. (Rosie Brittingham photo)

I didn’t check the weather right beforehand because I didn’t want to psych myself out. But afterward, I saw that it was 87 degrees with 66 percent humidity, and the “feels like” temperature was 97 degrees. I’m just seeing now that was the temperature for Salisbury, where I live, and not where I actually was, in Georgetown, Delaware, but the two towns are relatively close together, so I assume the weather was not far off.

 

Before running the Foot Pursuit in the Park 5K last month, I’d seen that the “feels like” temperature was 103. My time was 30:28 at that race, so I was able to run faster on Thursday.

I headed back to my car so I could grab my phone, which I hadn’t brought on the run, and then headed back to the post-race cookout.

I have a huge sweet tooth and had been particularly looking forward to the ice cream, so I got in the ice cream line first. Vanderwende Farm Creamery was on-site with a truck and providing free ice cream to participants. I chose a flavor called Holy Cow, which included hot fudge and peanut butter cups, and it was delicious.

I next headed to the regular food line and got some barbecue and potato salad. I’m not normally a huge fan of potato salad, but this one looked good — and it was delicious! With a full container, I was offered some chicken. I hesitated, because I already had so much food, but the volunteer gave me the second meal, and I actually had it for lunch the next day (and still had some left over).

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Here’s the spray runners could enjoy after finishing the Run, White and Blue 5K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

There was also pizza and more. There was beer as well, but I heard the Mispillion had run out and I didn’t really need a beer, anyway. I also had set up a fasting routine blood test for the next day, so I had to make sure I was done eating and drinking (aside from water) by 8 p.m.

 

I found my friends Rosie, Donna and Kevin after the run, and another friend, Mike, who I’d been talking to in line, joined us as well.

I’d checked my time on a laptop and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I placed second in my age group, female 20-29. I was awarded an age group medal.

This was my third year running this race, and I’m glad to have made it one of my annual ones. In addition to its other attributes, the event benefits Delaware Technical Community College Owens Campus scholarships for veterans and first responders.

See you next year!

Splits:

Mile 1: 9:19

Mile 2: 9:56

Mile 3: 9:20

Last part: 0:54

Official time: 29:06, watch time: 29:30

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