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Monday, August 03, 2015

Race Recap: Healthy Columbus 5k

The shirt, medal, and me and Deborah with the "mayor"

The Healthy Columbus 5k took place June 20, 2015 at 9:00am in Wolfe Park, located east of downtown Columbus. (JUNE. I know. This recap is so late.) 

Mini farmer's market
The 5k was organized by the City of Columbus for employees and their friends/family to encourage a healthy lifestyle. It was also free (!). Before the race there was a mini farmers market. Employees were allowed to pick three items of produce for free. I can't remember what Alex got beyond broccoli, but it was an impressive spread and a great idea. Additionally, there were massage therapists on hand for post-run massages and other employee-only freebies. June 20th was a very rainy morning and while the turnout was surprising for a free event, there were enough folks missing that I was able to get an employees-only (suuuuper soft) shirt and race medal. :)

Before we began I spotted a friend/coach from my training group (Deborah) who also works for the city. She wasn't as lazy as I was and went to our training group at 7am then zipped over to the race. She'd already run that morning and she was coming off of a surgery/injury so she knew she'd take it easy. I was considering a PR attempt but the summer heat was already kicking my butt during training and I wasn't sure how I'd fare in the rain, so before we set off I decided to stick with Deborah.

Most of the run was on a bike path in Wolfe Park, which I’d never visited. It’s a great park and apparently connects to a larger bike path on the east side of downtown. There was one segment where the path was blocked off and we had to go into the grass. It was a bit muddy, but it didn’t last long. The course included a leg in a park to the north and then two laps of Wolfe Park.

The course
There’s not much to recap with this one because we used Deborah’s heart rate monitor to guide our pace. Our first mile was 10:45, but the other two miles were 12 and 13 because we took a few walking breaks. Throughout the entire race we chatted and even made friends with some of the runners around us. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had during a 5k. I would love to run with a friend again!

We crossed the finish line and Alex was waiting to cheer us on. Guess what? He won! He and the second place female were neck and neck but he pulled off the win (she’s been at other events before and always does well). He said they took a wrong turn and ran extra during the north section of the race, but were still way ahead of the other folks behind them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t timed and there weren’t prizes for placing, but he still had bragging rights!

Alex winning
After the race, we ate some snacks and hung out with a cardboard cutout of the mayor. (ha) I got my shirt and medal and eventually Alex and I said goodbye and headed out. By the time we left we were soaked, but I had so much fun running in the rain. I probably could have gunned for a PR (very flat course), but I think my time was better spent socializing and enjoying the nice weather - even with the rain - and the beautiful park.

I would participate in this race again in a heartbeat. It was pretty well organized for something so informal and everyone was so friendly. Next year, I may not be lucky enough to get a shirt and a medal, but at least I can steal Alex’s medal.

Up Next: Emerald City on August 23. Unlike last year I'm only running the quarter. No more August halves for me!

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