Cinco de Mayo 5K on a Rainy Day

Last Friday was Cinco de Mayo and I celebrated by running the low-key Cinco de Mayo 5K here in Columbus. The race was run on the Scioto Greenway Trail, a multi-use, paved bike and running path along the Scioto River. It started and finished near Woodlands Backyard, a bar I had never been to, and had a little trouble finding because it was set back off the street behind a gas station. Good thing I gave myself plenty of time to get there and find parking.

The participant shirt and finisher pint glass

We picked up our packets inside and runners hung out there while waiting for the race to start. It was raining outside, so we wanted to stay dry as long as possible. Finally, it was time to walk to the trail. The course was an out and back, first upriver, and then returning downriver on the trail. It's a good thing it was a small race, because the trail would have been too crowded with many more runners and walkers. I seeded myself in the middle of the pack and set out at a decent pace. I really didn't have a time goal, but I wanted to have a decent race, and get inside from the chilly rain.

At the start

I passed several people in the first mile even though I was doing run/walk intervals. I have turned into a big believer of scheduled walk breaks. Since I've become more consistent in using them, I've been able to run faster on the run intervals and improve my overall mile pace. There were a couple other runners that I played leapfrog with, but otherwise, I was mostly on my own and few people passed me. A glance at my watch at Mile 2 told me that I was very close to having a sub-30 5K. I wouldn't PR, but I could have my fastest 5K in years. Unfortunately, the hills on the way back slowed me down a little bit. I finished in under 31 minutes. My PR is within reach though, and I think I'll be able to break it this summer or early fall with a little more speed training.

I took one photo while on a walk break; this runner and I kept passing each other
The course

After the race we were each given a Cinco de Mayo 5K pint glass and a drink ticket for a Miller Lite back at the bar. I was cold and wet drinking my Miller Lite. Part of me wanted to stick around and have a second, better, beer. But the cold part of me decided to go home so I could shower and get into warm, dry clothes.

Cinco de Mayo celebratory beer

This race, though not a new record, affirmed that my recent speed work and better quality training are paying off. I am getting faster. I will be able to earn some PRs later this year. Even the cold, rainy weather couldn't but a damper on those thoughts.

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