Running With the Boys: Elwood Endowment Education 5K Race Recap

I love racing. It makes me nervous and I breathe real hard and get all sweaty and sometimes a cramp will make me feel like someone is stabbing me in the side of my stomach, but I also get to eat a lot, and, in the case of this morning’s race, set a new PR!

Elwood Endowment Education 5K
Greenlawn, NY
Chip time: 25:26
Pace: 8:12


Still catching my breath, but not too exhausted to rock

The Elwood Education Endowment 5K began and ended at Elwood Middle School and, since its aim is to raise money for the school district, a lot of students and teachers ran it. I knew none of them. In fact, I knew nobody at all. It was a small field – just 295 runners – and I’m happy to say that I won my very first 1st place age group medal!

TECHNICALLY, one woman in my age group beat me: the overall female winner. But overall winners don’t get age group medals, so I was happy to be second in line in the female 40-44 category to officially snatch up age group 1st. With 22 women in my group, it’s not bad considering that a few years ago I was barely running and 25 pounds heavier. I’ll take it. GIVE IT TO ME.


My first 1st place age group medal!

And even better than the medal: I set a PR of 25:26.

My last 5K race was in mid-July, finishing in 26:39. I knew this one would be faster while running it. First, I’ve just been running more. I’ve done a 4-mile race and the Cow Harbor 10K since then. I’ve done a bit more speed work.

Both 5K courses were relatively flat (this one was described as having “rolling hills,” which made me laugh when I saw the course, as there were only a couple small dips and inclines – I think running through hilly Northport has spoiled me) but in today’s race, I could FEEL myself faster than last time. I wonder if the hills even helped.

Something else I think helped: I wound up running in a small group of guys: Red Shirt Dude, Blue Shirt Dude, and Gray Shirt Dude. We were all going about the same pace, with Red Shirt Dude a little ahead of me the whole time until the end when I managed to surge ahead. After the race, Gray Shirt Dude told me he had been behind me most of the way and congratulated me on my pace, and I thanked Red Shirt Dude for keeping me going, while he acknowledged that a small hill got to him at the end. I kind of love that I was in a little group of Dudes.

It reminds me of the 600-yard dash races we used to run in 5th and 6th grade – I’d usually be the 1st or 2nd girl finisher, but what I really loved was running alongside the fastest boys. I would always be slightly behind them and I never won. But I loved it anyway because for a few minutes, I felt like an equal. Like girls could do anything. Like I could do anything. It’s something my mom instilled in me from a young age. I’ll write more about that some other time. One thing at a time, folks!


What I assume is the school mascot playing ball with kids after the race

Afterwards, I got to experience one of my favorite parts of a race: FREE FOOD!!! I ate… quite a bit.


Even though exactly nobody from the race will read this blog post, thank you to all the volunteers and staff! You guys all rock and I had a blast. Thank you!

Onto the next!

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