Today was the 30th annual Media Five Mile race. I ran this race for the first time last year. This year I ran alone. Dave is in Lancaster for a softball tournament so I did not have him sitting at the top of 8th street this year. I was thinking about him though and also about the image my sister Meg planted of the woman at the Lansdowne 5k who mimed pulling a rope to 'assist' people up the hill! Thanks Meg.. that helped!
Let's start at the beginning. Dave and I said good bye at the house. I jogged down Jackson street to State Street. I enjoyed watching and listening to the people. Lots of people in Media watch the race and I passed several setting up their tables and chairs and hoses! I took a few jogs up and down the East end of State Street and felt comfortable. The start of the race faces West and the sun was a bit of an issue for most. For me, I just stood behind someone taller than me (not hard to find). At a little after 7 they began the National Anthem and there as a shuffle of bodies as everyone tried to find the flag. There were two which only added to the confusion.
And we were off. I tried to follow my 'strategy" which was to go out slow and save my energy for the two hills; front street and 8th street. Front street is actually steeper than 8th but 8th is longer. I managed to run both, on both laps. After 8th Street it's more or less downhill back to the start except for a slight rise on 6th so it's like having a reward for managing the hill.
Since this is a two lap race, it is nice to finish one lap at least before the lead runner passes you. At least I think so. I wanted to get back to the start before being passed. It was inevitable that I would be passed. As I approached the start, I could hear the police car siren leading the runner coming up behind me. The crowd started cheering. Not for me... but hey it's fun to pretend! LOL
Unfortunately I got a stitch in my side about then so I slowed to a walk for about one minute. Then it was back up the Front Street Hill and a walk for another minute, stretch my calves and continue running. I ran up 8th Street and took one more minute walk break. I ran the rest of the way.
As I came around State Street to the finish I decided to kick after I passed the start. The start and finish are not the same spot for this race. There was a guy in front of me. I swear he had a rear view mirror and was zig zaggin on purpose! Not really but it sure felt that way. I kept guessing wrong which way he was going to go so settled in behind him. The route narrows at this point from the full width of State Street to just one side of the trolley tracks (oh yeah there are trolley tracks down the middle of State Street) so that made it harder to pass him. Then he did what many of the runners do by mistake, he slowed down when he passed the finish overhead banner but the mat is past the banner. I almost tripped over him!
I dont know my finish time yet. I was so focused on not tripping I didnt see it. I contined through the chute and wandered around Veterans Square getting some water and a piece of (cold) pizza. I stretched, grabbed second bottle of water and went back to the finish line to cheer the final runners. I found the clock and it read 1:01: and some seconds. So I know I was less than an hour but i'll have to wait until they post the times on line to know how I did.
*EDIT - Saturday evening - My chip finish time was 52:35... 1:27 quicker than last year. Yay me! :)
The people of Media are so much fun to run by. The kids are always looking for high fives and many people put out hoses. Many have friends over and bbq. That's a bit rough; smelling chicken and burgers cooking on the grill as you run by! As I walked back home, many families were still out on their lawns enjoying the first non rainy day in weeks!!
Thanks for listening!