Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ben's Run 5k 2015

This was my second year running the Ben's Run 5k.  My experience this year was similar to last year in that I still love this race.  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.

The website has a very touching write up about Ben and his battle and the funds raised through the run go to benefit the Children's National Medical Center. The write up ends with the following paragraph:

"This race honors Ben’s amazing spirit, and the many other children who battle life-threatening illnesses every day.  Run or walk this race for Ben, and for the other heroic children out there.  Do it because they can’t."

This year, the race raised more than $90,000 for cancer research through the Children's National Health System and there were more than 1,000 runners.

Photo from Ben's Run website

One of the new things this year is that they added a 5 mile component in addition to the 5k.  I can't speak to the 5 mile course as I didn't do it but more options is always a good thing! 

Something that was the same as last year is that this race was amazingly well organized.  It is run in a neighborhood and the start and finish are at a public school.  There is a bit of a walk from the parking but thankfully a friend of mine lives in the neighborhood so we were able to just park at her house.  We walked from there to the start line and arrived about 5 minutes before the race start.  They were doing a group warm up, then the 5 mile started and the 5k started right afterward.

This continues to be a community event in spite of the larger size and added 5 miler.  There were people of all ages, babies in strollers, kids, and dogs.  There were plenty of walkers as well as runners.  The course was the same as last year so running through a pretty neighborhood with rolling hills.  It was cold this year but we pulled out the winter running clothes again and were fine.  The race was very well organized and everything seemed to run like clockwork.  There was one water stop on the 5k course staffed with adorable boy scouts :)

I did this one with friends and with my father.  We decided to walk it at my father's pace and also because two of us were planning on running a 10k the following day. I had forgotten my Garmin but according to the official results, I finished walking the 5k in 54:27 which is an average pace of 17:44 per mile.  Something else new this year is that they have a finisher video you can see when you check your results.  

There was plenty of food at the finish line, from bagels and bananas, to cupcakes and even a food truck if you wanted to purchase something more substantial.   There was also a silent auction with a lot of fun prizes to raise even more money for the cause.

We had a great time at this race again and I continue to think this one will be a yearly tradition.  The community feel, the fact that Ben's friends and family are organizing it, and the amount raised for such a great cause really allow you to feel like you're part of something bigger.