Speeding up at the Run, White and Blue 5K

Here I am after the Run, White and Blue 5K. (Michael Piorunski photo)

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

Although I had a fun weekend at the Mike Sterling 10K and Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to come close to my time goals and ended up running some of my slowest races.

I had one more chance to hit a goal I mentioned in my previous blog post. I wanted my average pace at the Run, White and Blue 5K to start with an “8.”

I was able to just barely make it last Thursday evening, Sept. 5, with an average pace of 8:58 on my watch. My time of 27:22 made for my fastest 5K since the eRace the Stigma 5K in May 2018.

Although the reason was terrible — Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the Bahamas — it was an overcast evening in Georgetown, Delaware, for the race. It was nice for the sun to finally not be shining during a race.

The American flag flew by the start line of the Run, White and Blue 5K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The event is held at the Delaware Technical Community College Owens Campus and benefits scholarships for veterans and first responders. There were a lot of people there. I think I heard there were more than 500 people between runners and walkers, and the results show more than 300 who completed the 5K (the walk was one mile).

The 5K course is two loops around the campus. The loops are close to the same, but not exactly; the runners on the second loop follow a different path near the end.

Close up of Vanessa's watch on wrist, showing time of 27:30.8, 3.07 mi, 8:58/mi and 320 C.
I met my goal of my average pace starting with an “8” – yay!

There are always a lot of high school students who participate in this event, and I was behind a group of boys who seemed to be running effortlessly. I saw one jump over a cone and another one balancing on the curb for a brief stretch. They also seemed to be talking some.

For me, though, the pace took effort. I ran the first mile in 8:46, which helped provide some cushion in staying at my goal pace.

I usually stop for water at races, but because it was not terribly hot out, I decided to do this one without stopping. My next miles came in at 9:05 and 9:04.

I got a fist bump from a nearby runner near the end of the race, and I ran the last bit (my watch had .07) in an 8:17 pace. Since my watch had 3.07, I was thinking about continuing to run a little bit, but there was someone pulling bibs. Having done race timing, I knew it would be annoying if I ran ahead, so I just stuck with what was on my watch.

My final time on my watch was 27:30, an 8:58 pace. I did start my watch at the first timing mat, and my time on the results was 27:22, an 8:50 pace.

View of styrofoam bowl of ice cream.
First stop post-race: Ice cream!

After the race, I met up with my boyfriend, who had been in Delaware for a meeting, and enjoyed some of the wide array of food that this race always has.

My first stop was the Vanderwende’s ice cream truck, where I got a free scoop of peanut butter ice cream. Then, I continued along to the beer truck.

After that, I had a barbecue sandwich and oysters. There were also chicken, pizza and watermelon available.

The past three years, I’ve gotten second in my age group at this race, but this year, the top three in the F 20-29 age group were in the 21-22 range. I didn’t even feel bad about it because it wasn’t like I could have done anything differently to end up in that range on this day. I’m hoping it’s because of the growth of the race and I’d like to think that my blog encouraged someone to come out.

Oysters and a barbecue sandwich on a white plate.
More food at the Run, White and Blue 5K post-race cookout!

I also took home a navy blue T-shirt from the race. It was another fun year, and I’m thankful to Delaware Technical Community College for hosting me at this race!

Mile 1: 8:46
Mile 2: 9:05
Mile 3: 9:04
Last part (watch had .07): 34 seconds (8:17 pace)
Time: 27:30/8:58 pace on watch; 27:22/8:50 pace on results

Read my previous race recaps for this race here: 2018, 2017, 2016

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