Race Recap – Stomp the Monster 5k 2018

First, confession time: I’ve skipped TWO race recaps in the last two months. I never reviewed the Vets4Warriors 5k in April, and I left out last weekend’s Spring Lake 5miler, too. Sorry guys! Life is super busy right now, but if you are friends with me on Instagram, I promise you always get the goods in a timely fashion there!!

Now then….

Stomp the Monster is an awesome local charity helping cancer patients. I’ve run this race quite a few times before, so this was nothing new to me. Highlights are that their purpose is awesome, and they put together a great family-friendly event. They had lots of vendors, bouncy houses, face painting, a t-rex, and a game truck. Oh, and sandwiches and a beer tent. Always a wins in my book!

Sadly, the crowd seemed a little smaller this year than usual! Maybe the chilly, a little drizzly before we started, weather kept some families away? It was sprinkling on our drive over, but it had stopped well before any races took place.

This race is set up so that the kids’ races (25, 50, 100m dashes!) start at 9:30, then there is 1 mile walk that starts at 10, and the 5k starts at 10:30. This is probably the only thing I can knock this race on – I hate the late start! There have been years where it is sweltering by 10:30, and the race is not shaded for the most part. It is residential, so the turnaround has some shade but most is just middle of the street type stuff. This year, the weather was awesome running weather – cool (chilly even) with a breeze.

We set off on time. There were some folks from Team Kevin out there, and they started first – every race I see them at, they are so inspiring! Everyone else headed out just a minute or two later.  It was a nice sized crowd, and very varied abilities – lots of fun-runners, and still some really fast locals at the front. According to the results, 713 people finished. I was #385 of those, so just into the second half. In more serious races, I definitely find myself closer to the end, so that is good perspective on the type of crowd.

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The crowd ahead in the first mile!

Overall, I just tried to keep myself in the comfortably hard range of how I was feeling. The first mile felt good, but as my watch turned over I thought I’d gone out too fast.

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Looking back at my splits, I hadn’t, but in the second mile I did allow myself to walk through the water stop (remember back when I used to not take water during 5ks??!?! Ahh, youths). I had a little bit of a side stitch for miles 2 and 3, but nothing that should’ve made me slow up. Could I have pushed harder? Probably. I did have (what felt like) a solid finish sprint – there were two folks behind me who were creeping up and gosh darnit I was NOT going to let them overtake me if I could!

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Beer tent? That’s going to be a YES from me.

My chip time was officially 32:54! AND fun bonus, this race has never given out medals before – this year they did! Their shirts were also fun.

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To be fair, it has become clear to me that I won’t be racing my best times this summer. I won’t be running as much as I could be, with classes taking over all of my week nights. I’ll be squeezing in runs on weekends every week, give or take a day here or there. So while this wasn’t my fastest 5k, I was happy to see all of my splits under 11’s! That is quite good for me, and I am very happy any time I can achieve that.

Another fun part about this race is that along with lots of families, a local group called Fit Girls uses this as their goal race! It is so much fun to see all of the young girls out there on the course, working hard to meet their goal, alongside their coaches inspiring and congratulating them. Toward the end, two were right by me and it was so fun to see them sprinting to the finish! It reminds me that once my doctorate is over and I have “free time” again, that is something I could see myself getting involved with. That, and roller derby. And fostering dogs. Big dreams, right? Obviously, I’ll have to figure that out when I get to it 😉

 

Did you race this weekend?

Do you prefer family-friendly races or more serious ones?

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