Saturday, July 24, 2010

Run for Africa 5K


That’s the sound of a record breaking. Shattering, like fine china striking tile. I finished the Run for Africa 5k with a time of 24:10, demolishing my prior 5k PR by well over 3 minutes. I missed my goal for the race by a frustrating margin of just 10 seconds, or 3 seconds per mile, but I’m still thrilled with my performance.

The race was organized by Front Running Sports who did a great job. Everything went smoothly from registration right through to the awards ceremony. Even the results were posted in record time. My only complaint for the entire event would be a single parked car that crowded the race course right at the start.

The West Volusia Runners were well represented and we took four age group awards including two first place medals. I placed 5th in my age group, about a minute and a half behind the leaders.

I came off the start fast, jostling for position on the crowded course, unfortunately it was probably too fast. It took less than half a mile for runners to comfortably thin out and when I hit the first mile marker I was happy to see a time of 7:25, 2 seconds faster than my previous fastest mile record. I worried that it was too fast, but I thought I was on target to hit my 24 minute goal.

I settled into the run for the second mile and hit the next marker at 7:59. I knew I had to average 7:45 to hit my goal, I was still on target but I was also starting to suffer for my effort.

At 2.5 miles runners began to fade ahead of me. I had planned to kick it into a higher gear at that point, but I knew it was too soon, there was no way I would be able to maintain it all the way to the end. I struggled to just maintain my pace, but still managed to pick off a few more runners. I bided my time until the final turn and the finish was in sight and then I put the hammer down. I hit Mile 3 at 8:06 with only a tenth of a mile left, but I knew my goal was in jeopardy. I watched the clock at the finish line helplessly as the last few seconds ticked off and the 23 changed to a 24. I crossed the line 10 seconds later, completely spent.

Post race we were treated to music and massages and there were plenty of bananas, oranges and samples of protein and energy drinks. The kids fun run was too cute. The awards ceremony was handled efficiently without sacrificing any pomp so that we wrapped everything up before the temperature hit 90.

All in all, it was a great event.

Post Script:

After checking the race results I discovered that I finished in 44th place overall. That’s bib # 44, age 44, finishing 44th. I think I’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone!

Race photography courtesy of:


  1. Congrats on a PR!! Such an awesome feeling (which I unfortunately haven't felt since January!) So weird about your bib number... but if I ever get one the same as my age I will be feeling pretty lucky now :p

  2. Thanks Cristina

    I bet you will start hitting PR's again as soon as the cooler weather comes.

    Good Luck!