Thursday, June 20, 2013

MedVed ALS 5k Recap

On Sunday (Father's Day), I competed in the MedVed to Cure ALS 5k at Frontier Field in Rochester. This was my third time doing this race, and a course PR for me by over 30 seconds. 

The race itself is just amazing. It's always on Father's day and it benefits such a great cause. ALS aka Lou Gehrig's disease is is very debilitating motor neuron disease. All of the proceeds from the race go to a lab in Boston, MA that is undergoing research for a cure for ALS. There is always a ton of families there, and the race even honors that by doing extra categories "father/daughter, "father/son" etc.

The course itself is hard to run an actual 5k as there are quite a few turns considering it is only a 3.1 mile race. According to my records, all 3 times I have run this my distance has been 3.14 or more, I'm bad at tangent running apparently. [In a short race, an extra .04 or more can mean 10+ seconds on your time....that's a lot of time to add in a 5k]
Despite the turns there are some really cool things about the course. First of all, it's pancake flat which is great for speed. The best part of the race though is the finish. It is an "Olympic style" finish, you run into Frontier Field Baseball stadium, run around the field and finish on home plate. It's fabulous for runners to pick up speed running in the stadium but also great for spectators to watch the finish.

I did this race in 2010, in 21:40 and in 2011 in 20:00. I was unable to do it last year because of my broken foot, so I was really happy to be back this year. 

So onto this year....

I did a solo warm-up run, trying to shake things out not sure how I was feeling. I didn't want to set a time goal seeing as I haven't been speed training, so my goal was to use this as a workout. The weather was actually perfect, the sky was cloudy and a storm was brewing but the cooler air felt nice, as did the occasional mist that happened. 

Start of the race, I am a few rows back so don't bother trying to play where's waldo :)
During the race itself, I just kind of "set it and forget it" with the pace. I picked a few people I knew I could pace off and just kind of went with it. I felt like I was on cruise control and I was okay with that. Physically I didn't feel like I was really pushing it, but I knew that a PR wasn't my goal (nor did I think I was going to come close). 

I went out in a 6:05 mile and kind of backed off a little when I saw that, but still paced off the people around me. There was a girl near me who I tend to finish a lot of races around so I set the goal to not let her beat me. We stayed close through mile 2 (6:18) and then mile 3 I was able to pick it up a little more (6:13) and pulled ahead, definitely cruised through the finish with the last .15 being sub 5:30 pace. 

I was extremely surprised to see 19:24 when I crossed the finish line, that is technically my 2nd fastest 5k time. I ended up in 7th place for women and won my AG (which got my a fabulous gift certificate for MedVed Running Store).

Race outfit for the day was...of course +Saucony
Ignite Short, Ignite LT top
One of my favorite parts of the race though was getting to catch up with my runner friends Thomas and Mary. They are an amazing couple, that have always been amazingly supportive of me [Thomas and his son Zak ran the last 9 miles of the Rochester Marathon with me in 2011 when I was really struggling]. We hung out after the race on Sunday, eating snacks and just catching up on each others lives. Thomas and Zak both ran the 5k and won the "Father/son team time" and both also placed in their individual age groups. This family is one of the many amazing things running has brought into my life. I always refer to them as my "running parents" [we're not actually related], so seeing them on Father's day was special to me.

This was my finish of this race from 2011,
to this day remains as one of my favorite race photos. 

Is there a local race you like to do every year?
Do you have a "running family"?
Do you have a race photo that really means a lot to you?



  1. What if I really enjoy playing wheres waldo? I was really excited when you texted me and told me how well you did. That is awesome and that is a ton of turns for a simple 5k.

    That race photo is one of my favorites that you have too. That's really cool about catching up with them. The running presence down here is huge and really like a big family. Though I am 100% certain I'm closer to you then anyone here, the community is so well supported.

    What is your race schedule like in August? I'm excitedly pretending to work but really planning when we are going to hang out again! "hang out" LOLZ.

  2. Wow! Awesome time! You are a speed demon!

    1. Thanks! Took a long time to get to this point!

  3. Congrats!! The Atlanta Track Club has a similar type of race on Father's finishes inside Turner Field (home of the Braves) and is a 4 miler. I didn't do it this year but might consider it next year.

    I have met a lot of amazing women in my running community in the past few months and am very thankful for their friendship and camaraderie. :) Also thankful for my virtual running friends that I hope to meet someday!

    1. I'm not a huge baseball fan but finishing on home plate is super cool!

      Running friends (including virutal!) are great! Makes this sport that much better!

  4. SO speedy- that is awesome!! Congrats on a course pr and winning your age group with an awesome prize!

  5. Amazing time!
    I must be bad at tangent running too because when I hit the mile 25 sign at my marathon I was already well over 26.5. I know nothing about running tangents.

    1. I have read a million articles on it and still can't figure it out. I feel like I run in circles!

  6. wow - Congrats! I use to do this race every year until I went to college. I did it last year, and wanted to sign up this year... but couldn't afford one more race. I've never had a good race on that course though, it is tough! Nice job... and once again, super jealous of your time!

  7. That's an amazing race photo! Congrats on a great race!


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