Let's start with the 2007 Retro Run 5k this past Saturday evening. It was a lot of fun!
Saturday morning, I woke up early enough to head out to Eden for a geocaching event. It was really cool to see some of my geocaching friends, and meet new folks. After the event, I headed back to Greensboro to chill before the 5k.
My parents came to visit, and watch me run. They showed up a little after lunch on Saturday afternoon. We spent the afternoon hanging out and catching up, basically just waiting for time to go downtown for the race. As race time started to approach, I started feeling a little more anxious about it. A good kind of anxious, though.
Finally, we headed downtown for the race. I got there plenty early to see how the area was organized, and I was impressed with what I saw. They had blocked off the roads appropriately. They were playing cool music over a PA system. They were obviously set up for post-race food and drink. The more I hung around, the more comfortable I was.
Soon, it was time for the race. Not my race, though -- the race for the fastest kid in town. They had a really cool event where they raced kids against each other. They had 12 heats -- a heat for one year olds, a heat for two year olds, etc. It was so cute to see little one year olds run around the traffic circle. Once they ran all the heats, they had all the winners race each other for the title of "Fastest Kid In Town." It was a really great idea, and a cool way to get kids involved in running.
After they finished the awards for that, it was time for the 5k. They lined us all up at the starting line. I went to the back of the pack, since I knew I'd be slower than most everyone else and didn't want to be in anyone's way. Once we started, we spread out pretty good. As I expected I would, I started off too fast. Running around all the other people who could run faster than me just edged me on. Fortunately, I realized it soon enough, and within a half mile or so, I slowed myself down enough to be a good pace.
It really was cool to run the 5k with so many other people. Along the run, mostly I kept to myself. Every now and then, I'd end up running along with someone else and we'd chat a little bit. At two miles, someone pointed out the spray paint on the road, indicating the total mileage to that point. I hadn't noticed any of that up to this point of the race -- the course was well marked with cops at almost every intersection, plus I just pretty much followed the people in front of me. After seeing that spray paint, though, I noticed that at every intersection, there was an arrow indicating which way to go. Sunday, the whole family drove the course, and we looked at the arrows and other markings. That was really cool.
I was nearing the end of the race, and my GPSr told me that I'd be really close to making it under 40 minutes. So I picked up the pace a little for the last few hundred yards, crossing the finish line with an official time of 39:52, placing 238 out of 265 participants who crossed the finish line before they pulled up the RFID scoring mats (official results). I'm really happy with that result.
It was really cool to come up to the finish line and see my family cheering me on. Once I crossed the line, someone took my RFID chip and I headed over to the food table for water and pizza. We hung around for the awards, and I picked myself up a water bottle that they were giving away.
Dad and yarbiedoll took a few pictures. They also had professional photographers there, who are now making their pictures available for sale. It's a pretty cool deal. I found myself in three of them -- one that was of me, one that had me in the background, and one where I'm in the background coming in for the finish.
All in all, it was lots of fun. I'm really glad I did it. And I'm really looking forward to my next event.