I love this race - it was the first one I did when I was regaining my fitness, and so it has a special place in my heart. My fitness really plummeted in 2012, so I fired up the 5k101.com podcasts and started training - just finished week 8, day 2 on the Thursday before the race, so this event was "graduation". I did the supplemental weeks 4-2 and 7-2; the former, because I needed it, and the latter to time week 8 with the race. So my main goals this year were to have fun, to finish, and to feel grateful that I didn't have any injuries to keep me from running it.
Despite a choppy night's sleep - I always sleep poorly before a race - I got there at about 7:30 and the pre-race was in full swing. I picked up bib and my race swag: pumpkin and a t-shirt (no, not the one I'm wearing!). I jogged around a bit to warm up, because it was cold and quite foggy. (Glad I did - I usually don't, but I noticed during my runs that I don't really feel fully warmed up until about 20 minutes.) I don't think I've ever attended a sunny one - and the morning weather was clear all during the week until Friday morning! OH well.
I love this race: lots of families race it together, young & old run and walk it. Early on, I was absolutely dusted by a woman with a jogging stroller. One girl was running with her dad, and at one point they both broke into skipping, and then she turned 3 flawless cartwheels - I cheered, "Bravo!" as much a salute to her exuberant spirit as to her skilled cartwheeling. You get a lot of serious athletes in this one, too, and then there are the crazy folks who do a 1-mile ocean swim down the coast (BRRRR!!!), emerge, and then do the running event. I wonder if they plant bikes here and do a bike ride on the way home? ;-)
The route was a little different than in 2011. Instead of going through the campground for mile 2, the route wound through the Alsace Lorraine neighborhood. Lots of volunteers and cute pumpkin chalk art on the ground kept us on track.
I feel like my training prepared me very well for the race. I'm not as fast as I have been in the past, but I maintained a slightly uncomfortable pace for most of it - if it wasn't a little uncomfortable, it wouldn't be a race, right?
There were lots of people in pumpkin hats, pumpkin t-shirts, and one runner in a pumpkin suit, but the run tends to be a bit low-key in the costume department.
Before I knew it, I was passing beneath the balloon arch. The race clock said 37:xx, I forget exactly what the minutes were, so we'll call it 38 minutes. I felt satisfied - I met my goals, and I finished faster than my first one in 2008. (I was unofficially a little faster in 2011, but that's because a late bathroom stop delayed my start by a couple of minutes.)
UPDATE: Looking for the race results? They are posted at Active.com (http://results.active.com/events/pumpkin-run-walk-2013/5k-open) and on the LynbrookSports.com site (http://www.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/XC/RACES/13_pump.htm).
There are some amazingly fast people in this race, in all age groups. I am not one of them. But I was happy with how I did. My pace was 37:46.7 (12.11 min mile). In the 5k Run/Walk, I was 300/492 overall and 31/52 in my age group.
You know what the coolest part was? After the race, seeing some of my kids' friends get awards in their 12 and under age group for the 5k! One of the kids - a girl from my son's preschool playgroup - took first of the girls, and so I got to find them and catch up a little. I also saw my daughter's Kindergarten teacher, who couldn't believe that some of the kids she had taught were running the 5k this year. (No, not mine...they were all snug in their nice, warm beds.) She and her husband and family had just finished the 10k, massive 2-kid stroller and all!
Congrats to everyone who participated in the event this year! And thank you, Senior Coastsiders and event volunteers, for hosting another event full of fitness and fun!