Give Me 5

I hate not having internet.  It’s been temperamental for the past week or so.  It wasn’t working last weekend, got a new router and it’s still acting up.  Thanks Comcast! As I result, I’m currently utilizing Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi.  On Friday (when my internet was still working), I found a race in Ft. Washington PA called Give Me Five.  It’s a 5k/ 5 mile race where you decide at mile 1.5 which way you want to go.  Now, I’m a die heart OSU fan and always will be, but the race benefits PSU’s Thon which does numbers for pediatric cancer research so teams aside, it raises money for a good cause.  Yesterday morning, I headed out around 7:30 to Ft. Washington State Park.  I found the park, but getting in to the start was a different story.  It took a good 20 minutes to figure out how to get to where registration was because I was expecting signs on the road directing you to where the start and registration was.  I parked in one of the lots about .3 miles from the start so after registering, I had to run back to my car to drop off my shirt. At least I got a decent warm up in and a bathroom break before the gun went off.

As they were discussing the course, we were told that part of the 5 mile was trail related.  I hate trails! There were also hills.  I hate hills!  And they weren’t even decent hills, but I’ll get to that.  We were sent off and we passed by my car, for which I grabbed a swig of water.  We hit mile 1 and people were trying to figure out whether to turn or keep going (the volunteers were so confused) and runners doing the 5K who were coming back were telling us all to keep going.  At mile 1.5, the 5 milers went right and the 5K ers turned around.  The first 3 miles weren’t bad at all.  Paved roads, nothing to trip over so it was all good.  Around mile 3.3, we went off road and onto trail.  Bam, a hill that felt like it was a good 30-45 degree incline.  Throw in some tree roots to boot.  Things flattened out a bit and then we hit pure grass which reminded me of 8th grade cross country summer workouts when one morning we had the team over and were doing loops in a field on the back part of our house.  We did a 90 degree turn and were hit with what felt like a 75 degree incline.  Most people walked up it because it was so steep.  To put things into proportion, the first 3 miles, I ran under 27 minutes.  By the time I hit mile 4, it was 39 minutes or so into the race.  The guy next to me was like that was the longest mile of my life (and I soooo agree).  After we hit mile 4, we had a narrow and steep decline.  Enter more roots trying to kill me.  I was never more happy to see some road.  The pavement took us back towards the way we came from during the first mile so it was nice to know we were almost done.  By the time I crossed the finish, the clock read 48:40.  At least it was under 10 minute miles.  I decided not to stick around (hey, Rittenhouse Square was throwing their spring festival, what’s better than good food??).

Give Me 5 is still a new race, but I would almost consider a change in location or at least better direction to get to the start.  Not everyone knows the park (read, this girl).  I also saw on Daily Mile that somewhere after the 5 milers split off, there wasn’t a clear way to go (and the volunteer didn’t know where to point them) and the runner tried the wrong direction and would have probably taken the women’s division.  It was a rough course for about a mile, but trying to watch for tree roots isn’t something I enjoy while out on my run.  I doubt I’ll still be in Philly this time next year, but I hope they can make some adjustments for this race!

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