This morning I ran the Wanna Be Cancer Free 5K to support my friend Dominique from Free To Be Athlete. One of her team members has a rare form of cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, and organized this non-profit to support the fight against cancer through the promotion of a healthy, athletic lifestyle. This was the inaugural race and I think it was a huge success. They had over 300 runners and everything was perfectly organized.
The race started at 8:30 so it was nice to be able to sleep until 7 and take my time getting there. The event took place at a local high school so there was tons of parking and space. I met up with Dominique before the race to snap a picture. I took a few warmup laps around the parking lot because it was gray, damp and kinda cold. Also, I cannot go from 0 to 100 mph when I run 5Ks. A little warmup is required!
We lined up at the start and the gun went off promptly at 8:30. I went out fast as I always do with 5Ks but settled into a 7:45ish pace. I knew pretty immediately that this wasn’t going to be a PR or even super competitive day for me. I was coming off of two days of tough strength workouts along with babying my hip. I just didn’t have it in my legs today.
The course took us through a big subdivision and I appreciated that there were very few significant hills.
The race finished with a lap around the high school track. I actually liked finishing that way because I could clearly see the finish and tell myself it was just a 400 meter sprint. I caught a photo of Dominique bringing it home.
I finished in around 24:12. It was my slowest 5K in two years but the best I had in me today. I was shocked when Dominique texted me after the race to tell me I placed third in our age group. What a surprise.
After the race I met up with reader Elizabeth who won the race entry giveaway. She left the following comment on my blog explaining why she wanted to run the Wannabe Cancer Free 5K…
“I want to run for my grandmother who I never met due to her dying of cancer at 45. My dad says I look just like her. I want to run for my grandma who passed away four years ago while I was stationed at Bragg and I couldn’t get leave to go see her. I want to run for me. Because it fills me with hope that I can beat cancer if I ever got it. Running makes me physically, mentally and emotionally strong. I want to run for those who can’t hug there grandmothers because of cancer.”
I loved talking with Elizabeth. She is in the Army and stationed in Fort Bragg. She just returned from a deployment in Afghanistan and participated in the Marine Corps Marathon while she was there (they run it on the same day) and was the top female finisher with a time of around 3:30. Pretty incredible, huh? I am so honored that Elizabeth drove into Charlotte this morning for the race.
This 5K was a wonderful way to start my Saturday! Thank you Dominique for inviting me and Elizabeth for participating!
How do you deal when you realize you’re having an “off” race day?