On Saturday, July 21 I ran the Lakewood Summer Meltdown 5K in Lakewood, Ohio. The race, which was put on by Peace Racing, was a part of the Summer Meltdown street party which features live music, food and entertainment. While runners were encouraged to participate in the “meltdown” post-race we were left to buy our own food and drink. This is an evening race, starting at 7 p.m.
Official Time: 34:54*
Age Group Placing (F 25 to 29): 34/46
Overall Placing: 385/457
*No chip start
Parking was a breeze, although I was disappointed no parking information or course map was included in our race packets. We opted to arrive about 30-minutes before race start and hope for the best. The time leading up the race was a bit of a blur. We stretched and waited around the congested street party area until runners were told to line up.
Being a slower runner, I tried to be polite and line up near the back of the pack. That ended up being a mistake as there turned out to be no chip start. By the time I reached the actual “start” area I had already lost at least a minute off my race time. I also found myself dodging a number of strollers (and dogs!!).
Mile 1: After the congestion thinned out I noticed the first mile was mostly a slow easy-going downgrade. I found myself in a comfortable groove and was enjoying the cooler temperatures. We had lower humidity, not too much direct sun and cooler temperatures. Suddenly 80 degrees has been a blessing compared to the 90+ degree days we’ve had.
Mile 2: Around this time we entered into some residential areas. I felt good. I also felt like I was running faster than I was (I later found out.) I stayed comfortable doing most of the race with the assumption I was keeping a good clip. (I should also add that I ran in my Vibram FiveFingers. This is the second time I have raced “barefoot”.)
Mile 3 to 3.1: The last mile seemed extra long, perhaps, due to us now running up that slight grade. The course was an out and back. Again I felt good mostly due to the perfect temperatures. I left a little kick at the finish but also realized I was coming in way slower than I had though. Runners passed through a series of sprinklers at the finish line, cooling us off even more.
Gosh I look like I’m in pain here…
In Summary: I enjoyed the course for the most part and found myself simply enjoying running 3+ miles “barefoot.” My feet and calves got a good workout. Given my lack of consistent running this summer, 5K races like the Lakewood Summer Meltdown have been keeping me honest.
My race time was no where near where I thought it would be. I was hoping for something around 30:00 to 31:00. This race proved to be a reminder of how much I need to work on my speed again, and also that a race without a chip start can really botch your time.