Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review of Penguin Pace 5k

A friend and I were looking for a February 5k and this is the one we settled on.  It is organized by the Howard County Striders and proceeds were donated to a local senior center.  Howard County is still in Maryland but about 30 minutes from me.

Packet pick up was at a running store near the race course.  They did offer same day packet pick up but I decided to drive up on Saturday the day before the race so that I knew the route.  Mike went with me and we explored a new restaurant for lunch.  Packet pick up was very smooth and there was no line at all.  I'd been wanting to try some compression socks so I picked up a pair of those as well.  The packet included a reusable bag, a long sleeved tech shirt, a water bottle, a pedometer and some coupons.  Not bad!

The race was scheduled to start at 7:45 but the roads were closed starting at 7:30.  So I wanted to make sure I was there early.  I got there at 7:00am and there was plenty of parking.  My friend was running late so I picked up her packet for her from inside the senior center.  It was a little chaotic but didn't take too long.  She got there right before the race started since it started right on time.  We were planning on starting at that back anyway so it worked well.  And then we were off.
People gathering at the starting line

The route was an out and back through a neighborhood, so not spectacularly interesting.  There were some hills but not too bad.  There was some snow on the ground but the street itself was mostly cleared.  The roads were closed so there wasn't traffic but a few of the people who lived in the neighborhood had to leave so there was an occasional car.  There was one wonderful woman standing outside her house cheering us on and she stayed there the whole time!  There was one water station at the halfway point.

There was fruit and baked goods at the senior center afterward.  The baked goods were gone by the time we got there :( I checked the results and we were 498 and 499 out of 520.  They also announced some awards  and had a raffle giveaway.  It gave my friend and I a chance to continue catching up for a bit post run and warm up before heading back to our cars.  Here are my stats for the race according to runkeeper.

Overall, it was a well organized race and everyone was very friendly.  I would do this one again if I couldn't find anything else in February but it wasn't special enough to make it a no questions asked repeat.  After all, there are a lot of races out there :)