Monday, July 26, 2010

Race Report: Ding Dong Days 5K Run

Race: Ding Dong Days 5K Run/Walk
Location: Dumas, Arkansas
Date: 24 July 2010
Number of Race in 2010: 3

Overview:  This was a very small local race. Packet pick-up was a breeze since there weren't a lot of participants and there were a lot of people working the race. Perfect!

Here are the goodies. My favorite? A handy-dandy Band-Aid carrier. 

The race was split into a walk-only group and a walk/run-group. Gun time was supposed to be at 7:00 (walkers) and 7:30 a.m. (runners) but we had an approximate 10-minute late start.  I haven't been running outside in the heat and humidity for a while, even though I told myself that I should do more runs outside after my last 5K. I was a little worried about being too hot and more importantly, being frustrated with feeling sticky. I warmed up the legs by jogging slowly before gun time. Nothing major. Just up and down half a block or so.

Seriously small race. I heard they have more people this year in the race than the last.  There was pretty much no crowd support. No child cheering for mom/dad. No spouse with kids cheering for their running spouse. A lady stood outside her front door after picking up her morning paper just to see what was going on.  Another lady was at her vehicle but pretty much paid no attention to what was going on. So, during the run, it felt like a regular run through the neighborhood than a race.

The course: It was through a neighborhood so there were a quite a number of turns. However, volunteers were stationed at each turn to guide the runners through the course. Apart from 1 volunteer who was more into texting on her cellphone, the others were quite diligent.  I saw a runner (with iPod) ran the wrong way and the volunteer had no idea what to do. The volunteer tried to run after the runner, but didn't manage to catch up or maybe she was just too scared to leave her station, who knows? I went the wrong way too. But it wasn't a drastic wrong way, probably about 10 or 15 steps. Probably the volunteers should actually physically direct/point to the direction where runners are supposed to be heading. But nothing major either. I think as long as the runners can hear volunteers hollering at them if they went the wrong way, it will be ok.  There was a drink station manned by one person along the halfway mark. I think it was adequate since there weren't a lot of participants. The lady manning the drink station actually ran up to runners and handed out bottles of water.  There were clear signages at every mile. Did I mention that the course was flat?

My Run: I started off kinda fast. I left my boyfriend's two tween brothers and dad behind at the start. I decided that morning when I woke up that I wanted a PR today.  I looked down at my Garmin and kept seeing a high 8:00 min/mile to mid 9:00 min/mile pace. I knew I had to slow down a little if not, I will not be able to finish it strongly. 

I did feel like stopping and walking a little to shake the stiffness out of my legs a little during the race. But I kept saying NO! to myself and kept at it. I saw a pit bullish-looking dog with a leash tied to a tree trunk as we ran past a rougher looking section of the neighborhood. The dog was barking and it didn't sound friendly.  Then, I ran past my boyfriend's teenage sister and her boyfriend (they were on the walking team). I wanted to stop but I thought that will be a bad example.  Sister has lost 15 lbs recently at a camp and is trying to incorporate activity and proper eating into her life. I don't want to give her the impression that it is OK to give up. So I kept running and put on the biggest smile I can and said "hi" to her. I probably uttered some encouraging words. Who knows? The heat and humidity fogged up my mind pretty well. 

At the 3-mile mark, a staff was using her walkie-talkie to inform her folks who's coming to the finish line. After I crossed the finish line, a lady came and took the lower portion of my bib number off. I headed to get a bottle of water. There were bananas in an ice chest for participants as well.

So, I actually came in second place, probably in my age group. It's kinda a weird age group (15-30 years old). I felt kinda silly to have mentioned that I came in second on my post right after the race. I seriously believe that probably I am the second person in that age group. What matters more to me is knowing that my running time is improving. My time, according to the Garmin, is 31:00 minutes for 3.14 miles. My last PR was 32:03 minutes. Also, I don't think they will ever post the race results or anything like that. I have no idea how to gather up that kind of information. I have been checking online for it but to no avail. :( 

I'm still working toward a sub-30 minutes 5K. What about you?   


  1. Hey! Great job! My most recent 5K was a 30:02, which is my fastest since having 2 kids (I could often run sub 25 before I had any kids). Keep up the good work, and I'll keep working, too, and we'll see how fast we both can get. :)

  2. congrats!!
    second is matter what the circumstances are!

    good job.
    u can get under 30 mins! for suuuuurreeeeeeee~!

  3. Congratulations! That is my goal this year, just to sub 30 minutes on a 5K. Good job!

  4. my 5Ks come in around 30 mins. sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. sometimes i get AG awards, usually i don't. it's all good...

  5. Congrats on your PR and 2nd place finish!

  6. Keep up the good work - you'll get that sub 30 minute 5K.

  7. Great job! I'm working on the sub 30 5k this year also.


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