Two days ago I took part in the 5K Rock n’ Run in Miramichi. I joined a running group a couple of months ago, started training, and finally the big day was here. I was excited and determined to do my best and put my training to the test.
Route – The Miramichi Rock n’ Run for all three events (half-marathon, 10K and 5K) starts at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Henry Street, near Queen Elizabeth Park (town square), and continues on Pleasant Street to Hennessy Street where runners turn left towards the Paul Hayes Memorial Building and then make their way onto the Miramichi Bridge. The turnaround point for the 5K is in the middle of the bridge and from there the runners head back towards Pleasant Street and then via Jane Street to the finish line near the town square. The other two events continue across the bridge, follow their respective routes, and then also finish at the same place.
Pre-race Goal – My objective entering the race was to finish in less than 35 minutes. This seemed like a reasonable goal considering that most of my training runs over this distance recently have been between 34 and 35 minutes.
Race – For the first part of the race, it was difficult to establish a comfortable pace, but when the runners approached the uphill section onto the bridge putting some distance between participants, I eased into a comfortable pace. By the halfway point on the bridge I realized that I had overdressed and wished I had worn shorts instead of running leggings. Although I felt hot and sweaty my legs didn’t feel tired, so I knew if I could keep moving I would reach my time goal.
For the first half of the race I ran with January (group member), but she increased her pace slightly and I could not keep up. I didn’t panic and instead focused on my breathing, determined to make it to the 3K mark without walking. At about the 3.5K mark I took a 10 second walking break and again at about the 4K mark. Then, with less than a kilometer to go I could hear the organizers announcing the names of racers and times as they approached the end of the race. Suddenly, finishing in less than 33 minutes was a possibility, so I sprinted towards the home stretch. Actually, it felt like I was sprinting, but in reality I may have been stumbling to the finish.
Then, I met up with my training partners from the running group who finished before me. They had awesome races and were pleased with their times. We enjoyed some refreshments, waited for the walkers to finish and then made our way over to the photo platform and selected signs for our group photo.
Result – In the end, I crossed the finish line in under 33 minutes. I was delighted with the results and happy to collect a finisher’s medal. (Time: 32:21, Age Group: 3/11, Overall: 75/153)
Opinion – The event was well-organized and the volunteers on the route did a fantastic job directing runners, supplying water and encouraging everyone to do their best. The refreshments supplied at the end of the race were tasty and a welcomed treat after an early morning run. My only concern is that there were no recycle bins available for the plastic water bottles and they ended up in the regular garbage cans – a lot of plastic could have been kept out of the local landfill by providing recycle bins. The signs and photo booth are a nice addition to the event to create fond memories for participants. Overall, I would recommend this event to other recreational runners and walkers.