In Sacramento, they have a Thanksgiving Day 5k/10k to help the homeless called Run to Feed the Hungry. While it is but one of the runs that is in nearly every city across the United States, it is the largest (according to them) in the country. This year, was the 20th running there were nearly 30,000 folks participated in the run and they generated close to $1,000,000 for the Sacramento Food Bank. During the first running there were only like 200 runners
The Dashing Family has participated in this race since we moved back to CA in 2010. Most people walk the 5k course, which leads through East Sacramento and some of the nicer neighborhoods in the area. For some folks who want to run the course, they offer a timed race entry (or an extra $5). What usually happens, is I run the 10k, then catch up with the rest of the Dashing family during the 5k.
Am I actually that fast? Well… I am fairly fast, but the 10k gets a 25 minute head start, and it takes at least 30 minutes for the 25,000 people to cross the start line. The finish line is also a block away from the mile 0.5, so I skip the buffet line and dart back onto the course, and I meet the family there, and walk the 5k with them. The Dashing Son has completed the 5k by himself the last couple years.
In 2011, I set a nice 10k PR (Personal Record). Being my first official 10k, it was an easy PR. I was shooting for maintaining a 7 min/mile pace and I couldn’t quite do it that year. I was about 20 seconds off the 43:24 I needed to achieve. I blame it on the light drizzle, which slickened the roads, and my inability to run the course efficiently. According to the Garmin, I ran 6.25 miles, and that extra 0.05 miles took me approximately 21 seconds to run.
In 2012, I had no desire to PR, I had a marathon the following weekend and didn’t want to push myself. I still managed to run a decent race (I got caught up with the adrenaline of a fast race start) and came in around 44 minutes.
This year, I was gunning for a PR. I had just PR’ed my half marathon time 6 weeks earlier by nearly 3 minutes, and I had been doing speed work just for this day. The week before Thanksgiving, my legs were feeling like lead and I had rolled my ankle, so I decided to rest up and not run during the 6 days before Run to Feed the Hungry.
Day of the race, I got my Thanksgiving turkey cooking in the smoker (see recipe here), got the kids bundled up and went to the race. We got there early, got some awesome parking (200 yards from the finish line), and went to the starting line. I worked my way to the 10k timed corral, and started doing some warm up running. During my PR races, I found that a good mile run gets me nice and warmed up for the race. I also found some secret porta-potties about 300 yards from the start, which was nice to get everything out.
At the start line, I saw an 11 year old girl who looked really fast, and I was determined to beat her. No, I am not necessarily proud of this, but I got beaten by a 12 year old girl by a solid minute during my 5k PR.
At the race start, we all took off. I definitely started too fast, doing a 6:30 mile during the first mile. Once I realized I was going too fast, I backed off to make sure I was saving some energy for the end. I managed to keep a decent pace for the rest of the race, though the last 1.2 miles was a bit tough. I managed to pass that 11 year old girl in that first mile, but I never could catch up to the 50 year old lady in the gardening hat. I ended up taking off over a minute of my previous PR (definitely sub 7 min/mile), so I was pretty stoked about that. I didn’t quite break the top 100, but I was close.
Right after crossing the finishing line, I took a hard right turn, managed to snag a water from a nice couple handing out bottle water and cookies, and met up with the Dashing Family at our usual spot. Then I walked the 5k and talked to a few people who liked my Dashing Dad shirt. After the 5k (which we managed a 20 minute mile), we went back home and got back to cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the Dashing Wife’s family.