Summerfest 5K Race Report

If you saw my dailymile post on Saturday you kinda already know how this race went. Maybe 5K’s aren’t for me after all.  I’ve gotten so used to pacing for long distances and having not run a 5K since November I didn’t know what to expect.

The Virginia Highlands Summerfest 5K is in my new neighborhood and is known for being a pretty hilly course.  I have run through this area before but never in a race (well, the Morningside Mile but that was only a mile).  The race sold out at 1400 runners.

I got up early and had plenty of time to spare and waited to meet my friend Rob.  He lives in the hood too and had run the race before.  We walked over to the start area which was a bit of a mess and quite disorganized.  Both of us were already sweating and it hadn’t even started yet.  I think the temp was around 80 at 8am (and you could cut the humidity with a knife).   They told you to line up behind the cone.  With 1400 people?  Right.  All of the sudden we were off.  No sounds, no megaphone, just a guy saying “GO.”  Alrighty then.

Not kidding.  The “Start.”

I knew it was going to be rough when I clocked the first mile at 7:51.  Holy *hit Elizabeth.  What are you doing?  SLOW DOWN.  My breathing was off from the very beginning.  I know if people passed me they probably thought I was going to die.  Luckily, it was just my asthma.  I had taken my inhaler before we started and usually that is fine for me.  Not this time.  I took the inhaler again around mile 2 because I still couldn’t even out my breathing (it didn’t get better until I finished).  All I kept saying in my head was never again, this is dumb, you run marathons not 5K’s, stupid, stupid, not worth it, etc.  Of course I am too competitive to stop so I kept pushing.

We rounded the final corner and I took off and raced a girl to the finish (we tied).  I have never been so glad to finish a race.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty, peaceful course with the neighborhood out and about cheering, but it was tough.  Heat.  Hills.  Humidity.  What Atlanta is known for.

Me & Robert at the finish

I waited for Robert, we grabbed a water and parted ways (he could walk home).  I asked him where the snacks and drinks would be and he said he didn’t remember the race having them.  There weren’t any volunteers to ask so I headed to my car.  I luckily passed the area where they had snacks and drinks and stopped to get another water and a banana.  I will say that the volunteers at the finish should’ve told people to head towards the park for refreshments. My garmin data came up short on the mileage (I probably didn’t start it at the right time) and it said:

The official race results:

34/529 females
9th in age group 30-34

The gamin results (for some reason I can’t get my mac to cooperate so you can also go here):

Avg Pace
Summary 00:24:27 3.03 08:04
1 00:07:51 1.00 07:51
2 00:08:14 1.00 08:14
3 00:08:13 1.00 08:13
4 00:00:09 0.03 04:52

Time: 00:24:27
Moving Time: 00:24:19
Elapsed Time: 00:24:27
Avg Pace: 08:04 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 08:01 min/mi
Best Pace: 05:12 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 138 ft
Elevation Loss: 176 ft
Min Elevation: 886 ft
Max Elevation: 998 ft

I will say one thing about running in Atlanta you really compete with speed.  The overall winner (30 years old) was in 18:09 and just to give you perspective the 3rd place winner in my age group was 22:40.  I won my age group in Mobile with a similar time to this race.  I need to take a good 2 minutes off to even consider placing in an “Atlanta” race.  Maybe heading out to the burbs…who knows.

I joke about not running another 5K but I am sure I will.  And I am pretty sure I will run this one again because it is within walking distance of my new place and it benefits the neighborhood.  They could definitely be a bit more organized though.

I asked on dailymile if any fellow asthmatics have had this problem with shorter distances and my friend Laura said she struggles too.  I do think that I could kill my 5K PR in the fall with an easier course, good weather, and less asthma problems.  Looking forward to the challenge.

Do you like the 5K distance or skip it?  If you have asthma do you struggle too?

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