Race report: Hartness 5K


A< 35 minutesYes
B< 30 minutesYes





When I started running about a month before the race, I was able to run a very slow (40ish minute) 5K, so I didn’t need to work up to running the 5K distance with Couch to 5K or anything like that.

Instead, I worked through a few weeks of the 5K training plan on the Nike Run Club app. I think that was a mistake since that had low mileage (less than 10 miles per week) and a good bit of speed work, and I had no running base at all so I would have been better off with more and easier miles.


I got there too early because it was my first race and I was nervous about messing something up. It was like 31F outside and I struggled to stay warm for the next 45 minutes until the race started. I did some very very slow jogging off and on for that whole time, then grabbed a last minute bathroom break and headed to the starting line.

I lined up pretty far back in the crowd, because I had no idea how I would do and I didn’t want to be getting in the way of faster people.


Immediately after the gun went off, some poor girl next to me fell flat on her face and her friend laughed hysterically at her, so that at least helped with the nerves a bit.

I started out too fast of course, running like 8:00 mile pace for the first quarter mile just out of excitement and keeping up with the crowd. It didn’t take long to slow down after that though, and people switched to jogging very slowly or walking right away. I ended up passing probably 75ish people just because I apparently started way too far back in the starting line.

Mile 1 was an easy mile, mostly flat and mostly on roads. I got to enjoy running alongside a lake, and just running during the daytime which I almost never get to do.

Mile 2 is where things got tough. I didn’t realize that this was largely a trail run, and I had road shoes, so I ended up slipping all over the trail for about 15 minutes here. Running on a trail was still super fun though, and I loved zig zagging through people and hopping roots and all that.

By mile 3, I was getting tired and I started working pretty hard. A good chunk of this was downhill so I leaned into it and let gravity do its thing and ended up passing another 15 or 20 people in this section. There was one guy who would sprint for ~15 seconds and then walk for ~30 seconds, and it seemed like I would pass him and then 20 seconds later he’d sprint alongside me and then fall behind again, so it became my goal to just beat that guy (which I did!).

When Strava said I hit 3.1 miles, I was totally beat because I was giving it all I had for the last .1 miles, and then I looked around and realized the finish line was nowhere in sight. Turns out, the race was about 3.4 miles, so the last quarter mile was pretty slow. But I got there!

Final position: 40th out of 126 finishers.


My wife and kids surprised me by being there at the finish line (I thought they weren’t going to come) which was the best! I hugged them all and gave my 6 year old my medal, since he’s a huge fan of stuff like that.

Then I went home and started thinking about a half marathon.

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