The 5Kx3 Challenge Week 2: Run for the Buds

"You're Welcome" by Dwayne Johnson

After last week's cold, windy race in Mequon, I was hoping for a nice, sunny race in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Alas, when the day began, it was sunny, but it also brought a heavy dose of wind off of Lake Michigan. So while it looked like a beautiful day while we were inside, going outside meant having to deal with that disgusting wind.

I did a much better job dressing, even with the windy weather. I wore capri pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a short-sleeved shirt, and my blue hooded jacket. I was going to take the jacket off for the race, but that was before I stepped outside. Then the jacket stayed.

"Light and Day" by the Polyphonic Spree

My mother surprised me the day before by coming to an event at my school, and she said she was going to stick around for my race! We drove over to St. Joseph and arrived about an hour before the race began. I thought that this race was going to be very popular, and they only had one parking area available that was close to the starting line.

Speaking of parking, it was shown to the runners via a document that was emailed to us and was also on their website. But as much as I looked on the email and the website, the start time of the races was nowhere to be found! While they mentioned that early packet pickup was at the local gym, they didn't mention where day-of packet pickup was found. A lot of important information was missing.

"I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers

When we got there, I was shocked to see that barely anyone was there! This was going to be the same route as the Blossomtime Festival Parade which was later that day, and there were vendors setting up, but that was about it.

Where were the runners? The parking lot we used only had a few cars in it when we arrived, and we got prime parking. The packet pickup was a couple of tables by the starting line. I was a bit confused.

"The Forest Battle" by John Williams

Turns out the race, which used to draw many runners, only attracted about 200 runners and walkers for the 10K and 5K races this year. I'm sure the fact that it was so windy and chilly didn't help people that were going to sign up on the day of the race.

They released the 10K runners at 10:15, and before the 5K runners left they had the local gym lead some warmups nearby. I appreciated the stretching, since I'm not very good at making sure to get my body ready for a race.

"I Love It" by Icona Pop

Since the race was so small, it was impossible to hide in the crowd and make sure that the kids from my school didn't see me till the end of the race. So I just did the opposite - I gathered with the group.

Everyone gathered at the start, and I did my usual get-in-the-group-then-turn-around-and-take-ten-steps-back-because-I'm-slow routine. And then we were off!

"Shut Up and Dance" by Walk The Moon

It was an incredibly easy course. We did about a tenth of a mile on a terrible road in St. Joseph, turned the corner, and went over the bridge into Benton Harbor. Then we were on a straight road through two roundabouts, turned around, and did it all the way back! Out of all the courses I've done, this was the most boring. We were just running the course of the Blossomtime Parade, which means we had to be on a straight course with minimal turns to accommodate the floats. But it was still pretty boring.

When I was closing in on the mile mark, the fastest runners were already passing me on their way to the homestretch. Geez, people are fast. It did allow me to cheer on everyone on the school team as they passed me, which I enjoyed a lot! They cheered me on, too.

"I Wish" by Skee-Lo

There was one water stop - but if you're thinking about what I just wrote, there were two water stops: one on the way out and the same one as we went back. These were the smallest water cups I'd ever used in a race - they were basically the disposable ones you'd find in the bathroom. Again, the trash cans were too close - I wish I could chug my water, but I can't.

The bridge was a pretty easy jaunt because we came upon it on a decline. But that meant that as we came back to the finish, the bridge was a pretty nasty climb. Not only was the bridge unpleasant, the decline had turned into an incline, and it was a terrible incline!

"Galvanize" by The Chemical Brothers

I finally made it back up the hill, but as we turned the corner to the finish we were met by a headwind coming right off of Lake Michigan. The weather was chilly, and the wind was downright cold.

But it was only about 0.2 miles experiencing this discomfort, and the sight of the finish line helped me endure. I ended tired but happy.

"Moon Watcher" by High Contrast

The postrace area was the prerace area that now had food on the tables instead of registration packets. I had a banana and caught a bear mascot from Bigby Coffee that was handing out free hot chocolate samples. They also had medals out that they were handing out to the top three finishers in each age bracket.

They announced the top three, and I was sticking around just to be with the school group and watch some of them receive their medals for their age group. And right before my age group was announced, I thought about leaving. Well, until I heard my name and third place!

"Minneapolis" by Underworld

This was very confusing for me. I got up there, accepted my medal, and pretty quickly figured out why: there were very few women in my age group that ran the race. As a matter of fact, the two ladies that finished in front of me were only a minute or two ahead of me. I was relieved to see that they weren't fifteen minutes ahead of me or something like that.

The run was average, but it had its perks. While I was expecting a bigger race, I enjoyed the group of people that I got to be with. It was slightly warmer than the Seminary Scurry, so I can only hope that we're ending up with a beautiful, sunny day this coming weekend for the Titan Trot!


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