Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cool Summer Mornings 5k Series - Race #1: The Jungle

Last Saturday, I ran my first summer 5k. This was the first race of a four race series called “Cool Summer Mornings”. This is a small local race series in Clermont, which is about a 15-20 minute drive from home. The series consists of four 5ks (one a month, throughout the summer) and all come with medals. For less than $100, to get 4 chipped races, 4 medals (actually 5 since they give you a special one if you complete all 4), and 4 tech shirts, that’s a great price and I couldn’t pass it up! They are all in the same location – a nice out and back course alongside Lake Minneola  

Since there is also a triathlon hosted alongside the 5ks, the start time is a little late for a summer race, 8am, but they have to get the tri-athletes started first since they have to start the swim in waves. Normally I would love a 8am start, but it’s normally already getting pretty hot by 7am, so I kind of wish they started a little earlier. Luckily, it stormed pretty bad Friday night, so it was actually really nice and cool on Saturday morning so the start time didn’t end up being a big deal. I was warned by my running group to get there early as parking is bad and fills up quick, especially with two events going on. The tri had a start time of 7:30 so I figured as long as I was there by 7am I should be fine. Well I got there right at 7am (so an hour before the race started, 30 mins before tri started) and I got the 4th to last parking spot (which wasn’t even a spot, it was up on the grass) in the OVERFLOW lot. Usually with small local races, you can get there like 15 minutes before the race starts and be fine. I’m glad I took the warning from my running group and go there as early as I did. That was probably my only complaint with the race was the parking situation. I feel like if you can’t accommodate with parking, then you need to put a lower capacity on participants. Based on the results there were 400 5k runners and 473 tri-athletes plus of course spectators so it wasn’t as “small” of an event as I thought and it was reflective with the parking situation. Granted, I guess you could pretty much park anywhere and just walk a little further, but I had to hustle it home after the race to get EM to swim lessons (G was out of town) in time so where I parked ended up being perfect as I could easily get out and made it home in time.

I also loved that they had their packet pick up at the Sports Authority near my house. Normally I never pick my packets up in advance as I hate driving so far away just to pick something up (most of my races are 30+ mins away usually), but I was already out shopping in Winter Garden Village, so it worked out perfectly and I was able to get my packet on Friday vs. picking it up at the event in the morning.


Not much to report about the course itself, it was on the South Lake Trail, alongside Lake Minneola. I love running along the water. Just something peaceful about it. I also loved how they had a drone video recording it. That was pretty cool! I only recall one water stop, which you hit twice with the out and back, which was more than fine (plus I run with my own water anyways). There wasn’t any entertainment, but I wasn’t expecting much since it was more of a low budget race and the scenery was nice!

Since there weren’t that many participants in the 5k, the out and back didn’t get too congested with people running both directions. However I was confused when running “back” on the right side of the path (since some 5k runners were still running “out” on their right (my left) it seemed like the tri-runners were starting their run portion and were coming at me and making comments for me to get on the left side. (which would have me running into late start/slower 5k runners) I’m not sure if I was on the “wrong side” of the path, as I entered the turn around on the right side so I assumed you would stay on the right side, right? That was a really confusing sentence but I think you get what I’m saying. Seems like the tri-runners should have also been on the right side but maybe didn’t want to weave between slower runners since they were clearly the head of the pack for the tri-runners getting mixed in with the 5k runners? Regardless, it confused me, and I’m still not sure what is correct. Maybe it’s just a flaw of having two events share a portion of a course. I asked the ladies in my running group and they think the runaround had us go in on the wrong side (and we should have been on the left side both ways), which would explain the confusion, but out of habit I always personally run on the right side, and it think a lot of others do too, so who knows.

Apparently there was also some type of mishap with the timing, I still don’t know what it was, but we did finally get our times a few days later. They sent out preliminary results on Monday which were like 2 minutes off of my run keeper so I’m thinking they must have had a start time problem and that was my “clock” time vs my “chip” time. I’m not sure how they fixed it but when they sent out the final results, my time was pretty dang close to my Runkeeper so I’m thinking they figured it out.

Regardless, it was a great race, and considering I had only ran once in the two weeks leading up to it, I was very happy with my time. I’m using it as a baseline for the series and hopefully will improve upon it during each race. (Although it will get hotter as the summer goes on, which will make it tougher)


My 5k Stats:

Official Chip Time: 33:14 (overall pace of 10:42) 

Place: 160 of 400 Finishers

Place: 85 of the 264 Women Finishers

Place: 7 of 20 in my Women’s Age Division (25-29)


My RunKeeper stats:

3.12 miles in 33:17 (overall pace of 10:40) 


Mile 1: 10:32

Mile 2: 11:02 

Mile 3: 10:41

.12 mile: 8:21 < - my ending sprint

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