For the seventh year in a row, I left Dogfish Head Craft Brewery with a large group of other runners for a nearly five-mile run around Milton, Delaware.
I’ve been running the Dogfish Dash with my boyfriend, Mike, since 2013. For the last few years, we’ve also had a large group from the Eastern Shore Running Club take part in this race.
Even though it’s in September — this year’s race was Sept. 29 — this race is always a hot one. This year was no different.
Although I feel like the heat slowed me down, I was in control of my body and I stopped at all three water stops during the “off-centered” distance of an 8K, which is nearly five miles.
My pace was also consistent. While not every mile was exactly the same, my splits on the results showed an average pace of 9:34 for the first 5K and 9:32 for the race. For some reason, I did not show up on the initial results, but I was able to email the company that did the timing, and I was added to the results.
In a race this large, I certainly wasn’t thinking of placing. I was 57th of 232 female runners ages 20-29.
Mike and I hit the first mile together in 9:10 — I saw he was in front of me and went to catch up because I’d been running more than him leading up to the race (I’m marathon training). We didn’t run the rest of the race together, but we would both end up slowing down a little bit.
The race takes runners from the brewery through residential areas and the town, along a large field and back through town. While the course is relatively flat, there’s at least one hill — which certainly feels like a hill to someone from a flat area like Salisbury (at least it did for me).
I crossed the finish line with my fastest almost-mile of the day. I ran the last 0.97 in 8:50, a 9:06 pace.
My time was 47:21, which was my slowest Dogfish Dash. However, it was within a minute of my times the past two years.
Afterward, I talked to my friend Lynn, who had already finished the race, and I was able to see Mike finish. I knew I wanted some apple cider doughnuts, so Mike and I headed to the Fifer’s truck and bought a half-dozen.
The race includes three beers, and like last year, they were in cans. I enjoyed a Namaste while there and went back in the short line to get my other two, another Namaste and a 60 Minute IPA. Since they were unopened, I brought them home. I needed to volunteer at the VP 5K later that day.
Unfortunately, the food line or lines were super long, so I didn’t end up waiting in the food line. That also meant I missed getting my reusable spork. Mike was able to get his without waiting in the line. I think another food line would be helpful. We did stop by a local coffee shop afterward, The Suburban Farmhouse, where we got coffee and a pumpkin whoopee pie to share.
I needed to get 10 more miles in for my 15-mile long run for marathon training, and I’d been considering the best time to do it. Mike said he could drop me off at VP Shoes and I could run before the race began that afternoon. I decided that worked and ran in some new-to-me neighborhoods and around the Centre at Salisbury. It was a hot one, but at least I ended the day with 15 miles.
Although it was my slowest Dogfish Dash, I still feel good about maintaining a 9:32 pace, particularly in the heat. I’d decided at some point during the race that I wanted every mile to start with a 9.
I did have the goal of running a sub-50 10K at the Norfolk Harbor 10K in November, and that seems unlikely given the running I’ve done so far. However, I’ve already noticed a difference in what feels like an easy pace since we’ve been having some fall weather. I’m hoping that if the weather cooperates, I may be able to run sub-55, which would be my fastest in a while.
I plan to run this one again next year. Registration opens in April. It didn’t sell out as quickly this year, but usually, it sells out within minutes. The race benefits The Nature Conservancy’s Delaware Chapter.
Mile 1: 9:10
Mile 2: 9:49
Mile 3: 9:35
Mile 4: 9:58
Last 0.97: 8:50
Watch time: 47:24 (9:32 pace); official time: 47:21 (9:32 pace)