Race Recap: Mobile Sports Authority 5K

Oh boy. This one is going to be a doozy. I don’t even know where to begin …

I had envisioned writing this awesome race recap that said:
1) the weather was magical,
2) this magical race was the culmination of ALL of that hard summer training and
3) it FINALLY paid off and I ran a magical PR.

Just roll me in magical fairy dust and call me a unicorn. Perhaps my expectations were a tad unrealistic? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s really hard to say for sure, but that’s not exactly how it happened today.

First, let’s back up for a minute. I have had my eye on this race for quite a while. It is a new race (keep this in mind), but it is part of the Port City Pacers grand prix and I’m trying to run all of those races this year. Also the race is the first weekend in October (traditionally, this is when the first of the cool weather arrives) and the course was going to be flat and fast!

The cool weather arrived yesterday, almost as if on cue and I was so excited to RACE. Daniel had to work and none of my usual crew was running this race (lame), so I was kind of flying solo. I don’t do that much, but it’s good for me every now and then. I made it to the race at 7:15 for an 8:00 start with plenty of time to get my bib and warm up.

The weather was very nice. It was not nearly as cool as it was at 4:15 a.m. when I ran yesterday morning (yes, you read that correctly), but it was still much cooler than it has been. I think it was probably in the upper 60s or lower 70s during the race. It definitely warmed up a lot between the time that I woke up and the time that the race started.

Thankfully I ran into Cody before the race and we ran 2 miles to warm up. I added a few strides and got lined up on the start line, ready to go! After we sang the National Anthem, a rather loud cannon was fired and we were off with a (literal) BANG.

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The first quarter-mile was pretty typical and all the kids took off like bullets. I try my best to avoid that early sprint out since it spikes the production of lactic acid, which decreases muscle efficiency and makes you feel like you are basically dying. We want to avoid that at all costs.

I ran with another girl for the first three-quarters of a mile or so and then I kind of surged ahead. I ran the first mile in 5:56. My goal range was 5:50 – 6:00 pace, so I was pretty much right on target. I ran the next mile with a younger guy (I think he was probably a high-school XC runner). Having someone to run with helped me stay in the race mentally. We came through the next mile in 5:52.

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The third mile felt like 3 miles in and of itself and I was starting to hurt. I checked my watch a few times and saw 6:20 as my current pace, which confirmed my suspicions that I had started to struggle. As it turns out, the watch was just having issues locating the satellites in between the taller buildings downtown and I actually ran the last mile in 5:58. Sweet!

Unfortunately, this is exactly where the race ended … at 3 miles. There was no 0.1. The course was marked incorrectly and we cut off one block. I know it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but that last 0.1 definitely makes a difference.

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I would’ve been close to my PR, if not *slightly* under. I ran 17:48 for 3 miles and was 1st OA female. I am very happy with my effort, but a little bit bummed that it wasn’t an official 5K.

Unfortunately, things just kept going wrong at this race. If you notice our times above … it shows 4 hours and 13 minutes for the 5K. What in the world?! Longest short 5K EVER. Oxymoron level: 10/10.

I don’t want this to come across as a total bashing. I know that there is A LOT that goes into putting on a race, but there is no way to write an accurate recap of this race if I leave these things out.

Cody and I ran 5 miles after the race to cool down and came back in time for the awards. WELL … they didn’t get that right either. They called out the wrong names for overall male and overall female, which in turn threw off the age group results as well. I can understand getting a few people mixed up in the results or something, but it really baffles me how they can mess up the overall winners.

I’m not big on confrontation (that is probably a huge understatement), but I thought they should at least know that the results were not correct. I’m fairly certain that they got the 5K and fun run overall winners mixed up, but honestly, I’m not entirely sure what happened. I did, however, know for a fact who the first five 5K runners were and I explained that to them.

They said that they would “make notes” and try to fix it later, so I came home with this lovely medal for first place in my age group. I really do like the medal. I think it’s very unique.

I really don’t mean to complain! It was a great day to run (not quite as cool as I was hoping for, but WAY better than it’s been) and I ran as well as I could have.

The race itself definitely has some kinks to work out, but I’m sure they will get there.

Have you ever run a race that was longer or shorter than it was supposed to be?

6 thoughts on “Race Recap: Mobile Sports Authority 5K

  1. Congrats on a great race and first OA!! Plus I bet the time would have been a PR or close if it had been .10 longer. Short courses stink but you still gave a good effort level and ran smart. It is not your fault with the course… you all ran the same course… and it seems like this race in general was poorly organized. You can’t control those things. Who gets the times THAT far off? I’ve had my time display a few seconds different than my Garmin, but hours?!?!? The medal is neat and I think you should just write on the back that you were 1st female OA and your time. Plus, you had a lot of guts to review this race and put the name of it on here. I had a comedy of errors race 2 weeks ago and I didn’t even review it because it was a charity race, and I didn’t want the charity to seem at fault (even though they were not at fault AT ALL, it was all on the timing company at mine).

    Honestly, most uncertified races are shorter than they are supposed to be here… although I have run a few uncertified ones that were longer- mostly trail runs, you can’t always end exactly when you have to work with nature.

    I hope you have a good recovery and be proud of your effort today and a strong run!!

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    • I definitely thought about not writing it, but since I write about all of my races, I kind of just figure that it is what it is. If it had been a small charity race though, I totally agree with you. This was not a charity race and was as advertised as a certified course. Regardless, it was still a great morning to run and I am definitely happy with the effort!

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  2. You know….I’m still baffled by the 5:58 mile splits…you so fast girlfriend!!! I keep dreaming about being that fast. 😉 I’m thinking after this marathon I’ll focus more on speed. That’s something I’m not gifted in. I’ve got the endurance down though. bummer about the race situation. For competitive athletes that really stinks!! I really don’t understand how they managed to mess that much up. I’ve ran a longer course and still managed a PR once but I kept thinking how much faster I might have looked on paper if they hadn’t added that extra .20!! Oh well. For the numbers nerd it’s really REALLY annoying. But. Just gotta roll with it sometimes.

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    • You definitely have to roll with it! It was a great day to run regardless. Training for shorter distances has been a really refreshing break. Also I figure if I am really serious about dropping my marathon time way down in the future, I’m going to have to be comfortable running FAST. Working on speed seems like a logical first step 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Remember running a 5k (Shamrock Run) in downtown Mobile several years ago. Turns out the timer had a Diabetic episode just prior to the race (not sure if high or low sugar levels) and was ‘out of it’…the clock wasn’t started right and EVERYONE’s time was off by a lot… some mad runners at the finish for sure–but being an R.N. and knowing how messed up hypoglycemia or otherwise can make you I was just saddened by his situation. Always good to get everything right in a race but sometimes things mess up….I’m sure it will be better next year!

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    • Oh wow! That’s crazy! I hope he was okay! They have the results up and correct for this race on the Little Red Hen site now. I think this was the first year of this race (if it isn’t, I haven’t heard of it or done it before), so it’s definitely expected that something is going to go awry. No big deal though! It’s just running and it was still a wonderful day to be able to run. Always thankful for that!

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