Cherry Blossom Race For ALS 5K

Race day started out miserably: low 50s and a steady downpour. We got to the race with enough time to grab our packets, put our numbers on, and stretch, but by then we watched the puddles start to get larger and larger, especially around the finish line area. This was going to be a very wet race. Katie had said prior to the race that she was going to wear her watch to try and keep her splits and maybe have a go at it. We were not sure what kind of race to expect, but as the horn sounded to kick us off  neither of us expected a PR.

JON: My first split was about a 6:20. What?! Way faster than I was trying for. I “though” I had reeled it back by my second split, but it was under 13:00! What was going on?! Things were shaping up for a great run. Had to ditch the “No Meat Athlete” shirt because it was soaking up too much water. So I finished the race topless. What I will remember is the last mile or so was run with 3 other guys, all of us slogging alone neck and neck. I was able to over take them by running on a grassy median (my secret weapon!) and then holding them all off for the last 800 meters. I finished with a PR of 20:46(ish)…in the pouring rain…in VFFs. Afterwards I shook the hand of the one of the guys who was breathing down my neck that last 800 meters and he said that every time he tried to kick he just couldn’t catch me. That made me feel really good. Now I know that I can still run fast (actually faster) than when I wore shoes. “Yyyyyeeeeeaaaawwwwwww!” (That was my best triumphant Howard Dean yell.)

KATIE: I almost had no cheering section at the end, because someone was too busy stretching to see me race past.  And why would he be paying attention, I was aiming for the chute @ 25:00.  Let me start by saying I don’t mind running in rain, but I hate running in a downpour.  This was a downpour.  I like how Jon wrote “we were watching the puddles get larger and larger.”  This is a gross understatement.  There were no puddles, there were actually torrents.  I really wanted to try for a good time so I wore my watch incase there was no one calling splits.  I ran my first mile in 7:30.  This is an unheard of “jon-time”.  Something he can do, that I could never touch.  Next split was at 14:46 which means I was faster by about 15 seconds.  I knew that I could finish with a time I have never seen.  

Quick side note, so much water was streaming into my ears, that I had to ditch one, then the other ear bud, and hope that my ipod wasn’t ruined from the rain.

I crossed watching the clock tick over from 24:59 to 25:00, with a finish somewhere around 25:02 (although, I didn’t cross the start until 3+ seconds from the gun, so I like to think I really ran a sub 25 5k).  So what happened?  Was it the rain?  Did I just want to get done and get the heck out of there?  Or… do I frequently underestimate what I can do.  I’ll have to keep you posted.  

Because this is nomeatbarefeet, I will say…. I love my bikila’s.  I ran in them today, I felt great, and I ran through water with far greater ease than my fellow racers!  

We had to protect the camera, so the photos were taken in the car.  This is after I switched shirts, which is why I look somewhat dry.

Sad wet faces picture…taken in the car to save the camera

and Happy PR faces picture!