I don’t think I’ve held back my disdain of running for running’s sake. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it, nor that I don’t see value, just that I simply get bored with it. After having run 3 obstacle races over the last 4 months, I ran a 5k with my wife this weekend. It was held in my hometown at the Casey County Apple Festival and we ran in it primarily as a different way to train for the Midwest Sprint, but partially as an opportunity to see some old friends. It was a little chilly, but not frigid. We had both decided that we were approaching it as serious training and were going to go all out. It’s a small event, maybe 70 0r 80 people, with 15 or so of them being elementary/middle schoolers. As we lined up at the start, the little kids of course made their way to the very front of the line. My wife commented about it and I told her that they would all go like gangbusters for about 50-100 yards and then tire out. One little kid standing next to us scoffed at that remark and nudged his friend as if to say “that old guy doesn’t know how fast we are!”
The gun went off, the kids shot away like bullets, and I got up to running speed as quickly as possible — all the time weaving in and out of the little kids (some who couldn’t run in a straight line). About 75 yards in, I passed the little scoffer and his buddy. The thought crossed my mind to say “I told you so”, but decided against it since I am mature for the most part and this was not an Adam Sandler movie. I moved into 3rd place somewhere around the half mile mark and paced myself 5 yards behind the runner in front of me. The runner in first place (and I do mean real runner as he is a cross-country runner for the high school track team) was comfortably in front of him by 20 yards. The position and distancing between first and third stayed the same until the last tenth of a mile. We made the final turn with a tenth mile to go and I kicked it in quickly passing the young runner in second place. Surprising myself and others, I gained quickly on the leader, but ran out of real estate — finishing 2 seconds behind him for a time of 20:48. I should have kicked it in sooner…who knows??
Notice that the description of this race was short because there really just isn’t much to say about sprint races with no obstacles. I was happy to finish 2nd overall and it was a good training event, but it was somewhat unsatisfying because there wasn’t anything to talk about at the end. I may do a few more 5Ks and maybe someday a 10k just for training, but I have validated myself in saying that obstacle racing is the only type of running that excites me.
On a side note, my wonderful wife who also isn’t a runner, finished first in her age group and really high among all the female runners (most of whom were younger than her). However, she wasn’t too thrilled with my choice of racing attire…..reasons why can be clearly seen below.