Thursday, May 15, 2014

Semper Fi 5k

I took part in the Semper Fi 5k this past weekend with two friends and we all loved this race. It was the 5th year of the race and the proceeds went to the Semper Fi Fund. I loved that when you registered, it told you how much of the fee went toward the race costs and how much went toward the charity. The Semper Fi Fund works to provide "financial assistance and quality of life solutions to Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces, when they become injured in post 9-11 combat or training operations, or face life threatening illness or injury."

There was a limited time available for pre-race day packet pick up, only 2pm to 6pm the Friday before the race at a running store in Virginia.  However, there was  an email the day before the race confirming that packet pick up would be available the morning of the race which is what we opted for. The email also said that there would by plenty of free parking, which was definitely true.  We got there around 8am for the 9am race and got great parking right by the start line and registration tent.  Registration was super quick and easy. The race shirt ended up being great and I've already worn it for a run.

We spent the rest of the time before the race catching up, talking race strategy, and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

We knew that this was supposed to be a flat course and we were all looking for a PR. It also wasn't too crowded at less than 500 people.  My strategy was to run until at least the turnaround point (it was an out and back course) and then start my 6/1 run walk intervals. This turned out to be pretty successful for me.  I ran until the water stop (where they also had Gatorade), walked through the water stop and then continued running until the 20 minute point.  I took my first walk break and continued with my intervals.  It was a hot and humid morning but there was a nice breeze off the river which at least helped a little bit.  And according to the official results, I finished in less than 39 minutes!

I was thrilled with my time as my 5k time before this was more than 42 minutes.  I slowed down a bit as the race went on but not too much.

Post-race snacks included bagels, bananas, lara bar samples and water, of course.  After some water and a lara bar I ran a bit more around the park since my 10k training plan called for 4 miles.  My face was super red once I was done!

I met up with my friends and we all had a great race and we all had PRs! It was a well organized race, great volunteers, a wonderful cause, with a flat and scenic course.  We all agreed that we would do this one again.