Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ben's Run 5k

I've done Ben's Run for three years now.  If you're interested in running this race, I would recommend reading my 2014 and 2015 reviews as I think they provide a more accurate view of what the event is usually like.  What made this year so different?  Rain.  It's funny how much rain can completely change the feel of an event.

Here is how I described the race last year:  This is one of those races that isn't about times, or PRs or a flat course but completely about community and the cause. The race is in honor of Ben, who passed away at Children's National Medical Center after 6 years of battling Leukemia.

But those things I love about Ben's Run, the community gathering together and the fun family atmosphere were mostly missing this year.  But that's understandable because it's not as fun to hang out while you're soaked from the rain.

Still hoping the rain would hold off

But here are the good things.  The race was again really well organized.  There were 2 water stops even on the 5k course.  And just like last year, there are multiple options for distances... 1 mile, 5k and 5 miles.  There weren't as many kids, dogs or strollers, which is understandable given the weather.  The friend I was with had brought her husband and two kids in the stroller as they were planning to just walk the 5k as a family.  Sadly, the rain really put a damper on things for them and they ended up calling it a bit after mile 2 and getting back in the car as they couldn't really keep the kids out in the wet conditions.

People trying to huddle under the tents once the rain started

As for my race, it went ok.  I did a warm up of about a mile and a half before the race so I was warm and ready to go when the race started.  It was chilly but I was ok with my arm warmers as long as I was moving.  I've been working up to running a 5k without walk breaks so I ran the first 20 minutes or so but there was a big up hill right before mile 2, so I started walk breaks then.  I pretty much just walked when I needed to given the hills and ran when I could for the last bit. The rain and wind also seemed to pick up the last mile.

After the race, there was water, bagels, and fruit as well as food trucks selling breakfast burritos and crepes.  But given the rain (it was pouring by this point) it seemed like most people went right home. In other years, there was a great finish line festival with a bouncy house for the kids, a silent auction, a live auction, a blood drive, and performances from local groups.

Waiting under a tent after the race while waiting for my ride

As always, this race was really well organized and had a community feel.  The rain put a damper on things but I think that was to be expected.  After all, it's no fun hanging out in the wet and cold.  But I'm sure I'll do it again as the proceeds go to a great cause.  I'll just keep my fingers crossed for better weather next year!