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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Race Recap: Buck-i-Run 5k

Posing with Brutus Buckeye

Welcome to another Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. This past week was nuts, so I'm going to use my normal weekly wrap up space to recap my most recent race. 

The Buck-i-Run 5k took place on April 15, 2016 at 9:00pm on The Ohio State University campus. As always, I was waiting for official race photos, but I have no idea who the photographer was and where they will be posted! Too bad because we were in a ton! [Race Information]

A portion of the OSU rec center (RPAC) before sunset
Free photobooth!
Alex signed us up for this race after receiving an email with alumni pricing ($20-25 for signup). I just had one of my busiest, most stressful weeks (and Saturday and Sunday didn't let up), so I was looking forward to forced down time during the race. We live about a mile away from campus, so we decided to walk and showed up around 7:30pm for packet pickup. It was a nice walk, but my foot actually hurt from walking to work earlier in the day. (Funny how walking hurts me more than running these days!)

Packet pickup was super quick We pinned on our bibs and visited the glow stick table to get a glow bracelet and necklace. They also had body paint, but we skipped that. We got our swag bag, too. It was an OSU tote bag filled with a nice cotton shirt, water bottle, and cushy socks. We didn't have anywhere to put our bags, but one of the student volunteers let us stash them under the registration table. Most participants tossed the stuff in their car or went inside the OSU gym and used a locker (you need an ID to get in).

Packet pickup went so quickly that we had about an hour to kill. We used the indoor restrooms, got our photo taken at the photo booth, Alex stretched, and we sat on the grass and relaxed. The weather was really nice at 64 degrees, but it was big change from the 30 degree days last week.

I ran my PR half the Sunday before and went out for two tough miles Thursday, so I wasn't sure how this would go. Alex said he'd run with me. As we scanned the crowd, I asked if he was sure. I knew if he ran his best he could finish top 10. He said he wasn't feeling it and wanted to stick with me. On a perfect day I would have gunned for a 5k PR (under 24:53 - I really want a 7 in front of my pace!), but my legs were heavy so I figured I'd see how it went.

The Race
We lined up 10 minutes before 9:00pm and ended up in the very front. I tried to stay off to the side and let fast people filter in, but it never happened! So, there we were... on the front of the line.

Obviously, a bunch of people passed us at the beginning, but it wasn't more than 30 or so folks. They were going very quickly and I knew I wanted to conserve a little bit of energy and let those folks burn out. Coincidently, when the race started there were fireworks nearby. They lasted 5 minutes and I have no idea why, but it was pretty cool.

The course was lined with glow necklaces and there were taped arrows marking every turn. Every so often we'd come across volunteers who cheered loudly. Alex said he was super impressed by the course support from the volunteers.

The first mile had a sharp turn, then we headed down to the bike path along the river. We were going at a decent speed and passed some people, but I knew it wasn't going to be a PR day. Just before mile 1 we could see the leaders up on the hill above. There were three guys in the lead and Alex said they looked faster than him, so it was ok that he didn't go for the win. Ha. I said, "I can't believe you run a full minute and a half faster than we're going right now. This feels so fast." He did mention his legs hurt going so "slow," but I decided to ignore that comment. Our first mile clocked in at 8:04, even though it felt way faster (there were some hills). Once I saw that time I knew a PR wasn't going to happen.

Mile 2 took us up a hill and towards the central part of campus (The Oval). From the bike path to the Oval is a steady incline. We also did a switchback onto a 5% grade ramp next to the aquatic center. That felt tough, but at least it was short! After that, my speed went way down. Mile 2 is always hard in a 5k (for me), but it was particularly tough on Friday. I was hot and probably would have walked if Alex wasn't with me. So funny to go from a half the weekend before (at a not much faster pace, honestly!) to wanting to walk during a 5k. Ha!

Alex was cool and didn't try to convince me to go any faster. He probably knew I'd yell at him or something. ;) We just kept on and I was thankful for a short downhill near Mirror Lake toward the South Oval. We were also gaining on a guy in front of us. I think it helps to have a mark and successfully pass them. Even with that, I was simply trucking along. When my Garmin flashed 8:32 I was equal parts disappointed and happy it wasn't slower. (I would have killed for a pace like that last year, so it's all relative!)

We stuck behind two guys for the final mile. When we came around The Oval I looked at my watch and saw we had a half mile left. I asked Alex if there were any girls behind us and he said there was one in a tutu gaining on us. I hadn't seen another female since mile 1, but I knew there were at least 3 or 4 in front of us. I tried to dig deep, but lost speed after back to back sharp turns. Luckily, those turns led to the downhill finish. I kicked it up and sprinted in with Alex by my side. In the final .2 I took my speed from 9:25 (on the turn) to 6:38! I felt great. Tired, but awesome.

Sprinting into the finish!

We crossed the line side-by-side and I looked at my watch. 24:11! Wow!! BUT then Alex brought me back to reality. "The course was short. No way we just ran a half mile after The Oval." He was right. My Garmin had us at 2.9 with an overall pace of 8:21. Whoops. My slowest 5k pace this year. (But still faster than my longstanding 2014/15 PR.)

Some automatic photos at the finish. Unfortunately, nighttime made them blurry. (Click to enlarge)
Post Race Goodies
After finishing, we retrieved our swag bags and got bananas, water, and granola bars. There was an after party at a bar in the Ohio student union (about a half mile away), so we started walking over there. Somehow we were the first to arrive! While we waited for food we redeemed our free drink tickets (we got tasty, local craft beers, but you could get wine or liquor. Pop and water were free.). Food started a bit later and included a nacho bar and pizza. Mmmm. Pretty sweet swag and after party for a race that cost $25. Shortly after, we walked home. I went to bed ASAP for my 6am wakeup for Saturday's long run...

Grub and swag

Stats and Thoughts
I wish I could have PRd this race because it was so well done. Of all our campus races, this was by far the best course. We went by many of the campus landmarks, but instead of running in the street we were able to run on the sidewalk which made the sections near The Oval and Mirror Lake much better. I also wish I would have PRd because look at these stats:

Overall: 28 / 489 (6%)
Gender: 5 / 326 (1.5%)
Age Group: 1 / 74 (!!!!!)

First off, my pace is totally off in the official results and ended up making me look more badass than I am. Someday... Second, obviously this was a casual event. (The top 5 guys were really fast, though. All under 19 minutes. Alex could have finished 6th or 7th.) I've never won my age group, but I'm sure it's down to the collection of student, alumni, and faculty participants. But whatever. It felt pretty awesome being in the front with a bunch of dudes!

This may never happen again!

Up Next: Rock 'n' Roll Nashville on April 30. I'm going with a 4 other ladies, so it should be a fun and relaxed race!


  1. Sounds like a fun race and I think your time/pace was great considering you are coming off a half marathon PR! Congrats :)

    1. Thanks Sun! I enjoyed running with Alex. :) Someday I'll get in the 7s.

  2. Woah congratulations on snagging that age group win!!! You had a lot of people in your age group. This looked like a really fun race with some pretty sweet swag... especially for it being a 5K and for the price. 5K's can be tough, but man doesn't it just feel good to run fast sometimes? I especially like nighttime 5K's.

    So Alex is an OSU alum huh? I'm a Virginia Tech alum. There's some recent football history there :)

    1. I'm excited about the age group win. My first ever and I don't care how I got it. ;) This was my first night run and it was pretty cool. I will do it again.

      Oh man... that Virginia Tech game was hard to watch!!

  3. We don't have a lot of these more laid back races in France. Everyone always seems to go out so fast. Recently when I was in Baltimore, there was a race around Johns Hopkins. I wish I had known it, it would have been fun. I have never run on a campus !

    1. Occasionally we find free or cheap races that turn out to be pretty laid back. It's nice because usually there are a bunch of 5 minute milers kicking butt. Running around Johns Hopkins would have been nice!

  4. Yay, congratulations on a great race! I love the photo booth pictures, so fun! I have a fun family 5k this weekend and hope to have a great time as well in Nashville except it will be an adult only trip to Nashville!

    1. Thanks! The photo booth was a cool feature. They posted the photos online, too. Nashville will be fun!

  5. Congratulations on that age group win. The differences in course lengths irritates me because the official results are based on an exact 3.1 (or whatever) and not really indicative of our true pace. It also means we can't compare races...only the same race from previous years. OK. I'm off my soapbox. You still had an excellent time. I've just gotten my 5k pace back into the 8s. It feels so hard! Enjoy RnR Nashville. That will be an awesome race. Thanks for linking with us Elizabeth.

    1. I haven't run a short course in 6 months and forgot how much it messes with your brain haha. Nice job getting your pace back down post injury! I think I was faster earlier this year, but it might be fatigue from being in my high milage weeks. Maybe I'll get a new 5K PR when I take a mini break from half training!


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