Last year, the Sean Hanna Foundation 5k was where I set what was my personal best 5k time which took until last Saturday’s race at Rutgers for me to beat. This year, I didn’t set out to PR again. I mean, it would have been awesome, but after last Saturday’s race, I was still so happy that I wasn’t about to hurt myself pushing harder.
I love this race for a few reasons. First, it’s in the name of a friend of mine who unfortunately passed three years ago from cancer. So unlike any other race, this one has a little more personal meaning to me. Second, the first year they did this race was my first ever 5k (let’s just say my time was more than seven minutes slower then than this year). Third, the race is run in Duke Island Park in Bridgewater. I really love this park. It’s where my fiancée and I run after work and it has a nice mix of forest, open park, and riverside paths. Forth, it’s a small race with a great vibe. Now, it’s not always the best organized race, but it was better than last week’s Rutgers race. This year, the race started really late, about 20 minutes, which was awkward and kind of rough after spending a little bit of time moving around and loosening up.
Like last week, I started off right in the front so I wouldn’t have to run around anyone. At this point, I know what kind of a runner I am and where I should be starting. I didn’t take off quite like I did last week when the race started, but I still started off quickly to separate myself from most of the pack a little. From there, there was very little position change, I think I passed one or two people through the rest of the race and that was it. My first mile was about the same speed as last week’s, but somehow I lost a lot in my second mile. I thought I was picking it up, but I guess not. I did pick it up for real in my third mile, but my legs started to feel like rubber a bit. I was pushing, but not quite 100%. As much as I would have loved to beat last week’s time, for the first time ever, I didn’t feel like I had to beat my best time so I didn’t push as much as I could have. And to be honest, I really didn’t have much more to give.
I finished just a little slower than last week, only 12 seconds off, but I didn’t feel like I was going to puke which was nice. I’m really happy with my time. Even though the weather was a little nicer for this race than it was last week, I was just glad to know that it wasn’t a fluke and that this is really where I’m at right now. 20:41 was good enough to get me in at 7th overall and 2nd for my age group. Even though it was a small race with just 179 runners, you can’t be unhappy with numbers like that.