OC Fair 5K Race Recap - My First 5K!

I can't believe it took me this long to race a 5K! This was just a fun run, which meant the competitive field was a little smaller than at normal races. Even so, I'm very pleased with a 3rd overall female finish.

I wasn't excited to race after my very difficult 19 mile long run the day before. I haven't been very excited to race since my last marathon I guess, but since it was just a fun run, I tried to stay positive. My dad was racing and so was Peter. I was happy to see overcast skies when I woke up on Sunday. It was still warm out, but at least we wouldn't be fighting the sun AND the heat. Peter, Ricky, and I met up with my dad at the fair grounds around 7:15 that morning. We headed to the start around 7:50 when most of the runners started lining up.

They set up a rope after about the third row of people saying everyone in front of it was the "elite" runners. Since it was a small race, I felt comfortable here, but Peter and my dad also ended up here by default of being with me! After doing a few strides and dynamic stretching, it was time to start. 

I went out way to fast - which is what I always do in shorter races and why I'm convinced I suck at them. I looked down and my pace was a 4:40 or something ridiculous. I held strong as first female for the first mile, which takes you out and around the fair parking lot, clocking in at 6:08. And then I died. When the race started, I was running just in front of a younger girl. She ended up in front of me just past mile 1, but I could tell she wasn't going to hold on. Around mile 1.5 a woman came up on both of us and she was going strong. She zoomed past us. I finally took over again at mile 2 as second female, but then another woman came up on me and passed. We were running through the fairgrounds now, running past the ferris wheel and the carnival games. 

I wasn't too far behind the second place female and we came around the turn to hit mile 3 and the final .1 of the race. We were passing people who were still going through the start line on the other side and they were cheering for us which gave me a little bit of a kick. I came up on the second female and we were side by side in the final stretch and all of a sudden I had to.... vomit! Seriously!? All of these people are coming up on the other side of the rope cheering for us and there was not even a single bush to put my head in. My gag reflex was uncontrollable and I stopped on the side of the road for a split second and luckily, it went away. I was so bummed though. We were in a dead heat for second and then I had to puke and I didn't even ACTUALLY PUKE?! I put in a good sprint for the finish, but I ended up as third female.

Once I crossed the finish line I walked to the side because I wasn't sure if I was going to puke or not still. Luckily, I didn't - I was so embarrassed though! I walked through the short finish shoot and found Ricky. They started moving us along through the entrance of the fair where the waters and bananas were waiting for the participants. I spotted Peter come through and he looked great! He had a great race, coming in at 28:27! My dad also did amazing and came in at an even 33:33! 

The awards ceremony was about 45 minutes later, so we decided to wait around. Liz and Steven from GRVL Runners also ran the 5K and waited with us near the stage. They gave a nice plaque to the top 3 male and female finishers. By the time the awards were over, the fair was about to open, so we stuck around for a while and ate some food and drank too much beer.

While I'm a little disappointed with my 20:49 finish - not getting that sub-20 I wanted - it was a great race and experience. The more I race shorter distances the more I respect them and realize that I am made for longer distances. That's where my heart lies and where I've found success.

What race distance are you most successful at?