It was back to racing this past weekend with a local 5-miler, the Give ‘Em Five Run for Veterans 5-Miler and 5K. Just 15 minutes from home, it was the second time I’d run the race. It’s small and benefits a good cause, raising money for local veterans.
It was a sunny, cold and blustery day. I decided to wear my new Marine Corps mock neck shirt from the marathon. It’s really nice and definitely helped keep the wind at bay. The color isn’t my favorite, but I guess with it being the military there are probably only a few colors they can go with.
Anyway, the race started at a local middle school. Turnout was a bit lower, but I would say having the THON 5K on Penn State’s campus that morning probably hurt turnout. More than 3,000 people run that 5k each year and while it also benefits a good cause I don’t really enjoy tripping and being tripped for 3 miles so I just donate outright instead. With the 5-miler being a smaller race, I was alone out on the course for almost all of it (something I don’t mind much in a short race). Thankfully they had marked the route well with signs and had people managing intersections for traffic.
The race followed the same course as last year and had two loops in residential areas so it was quiet, safe and pretty. I definitely had forgotten how hilly Bellefonte is. However, only two of the hills are really bothersome. With those two specific hills you run part way up them and think you’re done, except you make a turn and the hill continues and at a much steeper grade. Thankfully I don’t mind hills too much. Probably because you can’t run here without running hills. They only make you stronger!
I finished the race in 41:06 and then waited for the rest of the runners to finish and for the results to be tabulated. I was pretty pleased with my time and found I was about a minute faster than last year. I ended up winning my age group (20-29). We were awarded camo baseball hats with the race logo on it. I now have two!
I enjoy doing local races because more often than not they benefit something in my local community. It’s nice to contribute to those special causes and the community in this way. I hope no matter where I live that these opportunities will always be there. I hope to do this one again in the future.
The only thing I’m currently signed up for is the Nittany Valley Half in December. We don’t have a lot of local races between Thanksgiving and February due to the cold and what I hope is a lot of snow. I’m looking at some early spring races, including a marathon. Haven’t made any decisions yet, but hope to soon!
Question: Do you have a favorite local race?