My running lately has taken a lot of turns. Having a few medical issues recently and some motivational issues, I have decided to take a step back and one of the new solutions is to go back to running local short races for the thrill of a fast turnover, raising money for a good cause and enjoy the small town ‘connection’ to such races. This one fit the bill quite nicely.
The Kenya Dig It 5K is a fundraising run organized by the Tecumseh High School to raise funds for drilling water wells in Kenya. It has been going for 5 years and they have dug over 70 wells in the town of Eldoret, Kenya.
Fundraiser for good cause, check.
Tecumseh is a small town of 8500 people and the race was held at the (rather nice) High School. The race only had about 100 runners, but there might have been 50 volunteers. As usual with such races, the volunteers were plentiful and very kind. Nothing but smiles when I checked in and when they were bringing out plates and plates of goodies post race including fruit, cookies, and popsicles.
Small town ‘love’, check.
|Foggy cemeteries are cool|
It was clear from the beginning there were some fast young folk in this race (winning time was 15:50ish) so I was happy to be in 5th place after the first 400 m. I did not bring a GPS watch so I had to wait until I hit the mile marker to see how fast I was going. I was hoping to stay close to low 6's but since I NEVER train at this pace, I had no idea how fast I was going, just that I was doing a clip I thought I could hold for the race. 5:40. Yikes, I did not even realize I could go that fast.
There was a water station at about mile 1.8 and while the temperature was only 70, it felt way hotter. Because of my recent water history, I of course slowed a beat to grab a cup and drank half of it, trying to keep steady. Mile 2 came in at 11:39, so I had slowed a little, but that was no great surprise. I go out too fast, this is old news. I managed to pass a young running stud at mile 1.5, so I felt comfortable that I would keep my 4th place. The last mile was an actual struggle. I was breathing very hard and driving my arms for all they were worth. We came back to the High School but had to run behind it and then do 3/4 of a loop around the track to the finish line (a-la Olympic marathon finishes) and as I came in I could see the elapsed time up on the scoreboard and it was high 17's. I just wanted to break 18:30 and so I bore down and sprinted as best I could. I crossed the finish line and stopped and hunched over for a moment trying to catch my breath.
Fast turnover, check.
It reminded me of why I started running again, and now 7 years after I started running again, I needed a race like this. It has been 2 years since my last 5K. Now I realize how important such races are to me, be it sprint work or just the variety of the race distance. I shall add a few more to my race calendar.