Tamara’s Post – OC 5K Race Report
I’m behind again – with just about everything in my life – so here is my late race review for the Ocean City 5K. I really wasn’t expecting to run a race when we headed to OC. Since I found the 5K filled up a week before the race I was determined to not train and just run – and eat. When I heard they might open more charity slots, I thought maybe there was a chance – but knew we would be getting in town late on Friday. The weekend was all about Jeff and I wanted him to be relaxed and I wanted to watch him finish the ½ marathon. So when we got to the expo (ok, really just a registration table) we noticed they still had 5K slots opened. It didn’t take long for me to pay my $70 and sign up. Done. I think Jeff was a bit relieved because he knew I really wanted to run. Race morning I was my usual grumpy self – Jeff was up too early (in my book) and I was just in my pre-race foul mood. I tried hard not to complain about being tired (after all it was his day – not mine). We drove to the race start and hung out until the ½ started. I loved watching the start of this race – I stood up on a set of steps and overlooked the 100s of runners streaming down below me (yeah, there goes Jeff! I think he saw me!). I noticed the course looped back to the boardwalk and I was thrilled to be able to see Jeff again and get an action shot (1/8 of a mile in and he’s looking strong!). It seemed like forever (really was :45) until the 5K started – I sat in the car and listened to music. I was determined to run a good race, but thought a flat 23:00 was probably all I had in me. When I lined up at the start line I was shocked (ok, I was angry) to see a row of people at the very front of the pack with backpacks and casual running clothes on (way too judgmental, I know). I jumped out of line to quickly use the restroom when I noticed we still had 5 minutes (I’m quick like that). When I returned I butted my little self right smack in the middle of the front row – yup, I made someone mad and I got a remark from a woman next to me. I apologized and sincerely told her that I was only able to run about a 21:15 5K and she was welcome to step in front of me – she quickly said “Nope, that’s ok!” and we chatted a bit about the race. When the gun went off I bolted outta the chute and panicked when only 2 men started as fast as me (what the heck?!). We made a sharp turn onto the boardwalk and soon a few other raced past me. I was the lead woman – for a short time – another girl caught me and we ran together for a few seconds and then she smoked me. I watched her go ahead strong (she was young I reasoned, it’s ok). I’ve run on the boardwalk before but never raced – wow, was it a weird feeling trying to kick as hard as you could while the old boards moved under your feet. I felt clumsy. I didn’t look at my splits and when I got to the turnaround I gathered I was about 30 seconds or so behind the lead woman. And the woman behind me was a least a minute. It was a wonderful feel to be in the first pack of runners heading back to the finish as 700 other runners were still making their way to the turnaround. I loved the cheering from those behind me – the enthusiasm, the excitement, the smiles. I got several heard several comments such as “Way to go!”, “Look another woman”, “You are the 2nd woman”, “Nice job!”. I was motivated and excited and I tried my hardest to kick harder to catch the lead woman – every time I got closer she pulled away. Ugh! There was a nice little cheering section at the finish and being the 2nd woman overall was a wonderful feeling! I was satisfied (not thrilled) that my time was 21:50 – I did better than I expected, but didn’t beat my time from a few weeks ago. I chatted it up at the finish then jumped in the car. I was able to shower and change before I got the awesome news that Jeff got a PR in the ½! I was excited for him and hurried over to meet him at the bus stop at the post-race party. Great food, great (strong) drinks, and a pretty cool trophy made this race one that I would definitely do again! I don’t want to talk about the “morning after drinking too much run” all I can say is – wow, that was painful!