FIAO 5K Race

On Sunday, July 24th, I stepped out the door into a blast of humidity. While it was cooler than it had been the last few days, I quickly realized I would be running a race in tropical conditions. As I walked with Chris to the starting line (about 1.5 miles from my apartment), I wasn’t even sure I would be able to make it through the race.

If I hadn’t signed up for the Federation of Italian-American Federation’s 5K  while my leg still felt healthy, I would not have considered taking my injured leg for a spin, even on a short race. However, I was optimistic and realized that if I were in too much pain I could drop out of the race.

The FIAO 5K was the smallest, least organized race that I had ever been part of thus far. In fact, I think every race up until now had a minimum of 5000 runners. When Ben showed up shortly after us, I was relieved to hear that this was his smallest race too! All three of us realized that we were in for a memorable experience!

For example, the starting line was a piece of gray take, stretched across the road! No joke! And there was no national anthem, or description of the course mentioned while we stood behind the tape. All of a sudden, a voice said “Ready, set, go!” and that was it! It caught Ben, Chris and I in mid-conversation, and by surprise!

What surprised me even more was that I immediately realized that the first few strides caused me no pain at all! I felt great, and cautiously started to settle into a comfortable clip. Ben dashed ahead of me, but I never lost sight of him. I slowly started to pass people and pushed forward feeling strong.

I am pretty sure I was smiling from ear to ear as I galloped closer to the finish line with every stride. I even had fun passing Ben, warning him as I came up behind him that I was going to spank him and pass him – which I did! On the turn-around, I could see that there was only one girl ahead of me, but she was a good distance ahead. I knew I had no chance of catching her (she finished 52 seconds ahead of me), but I decided then and there that I would be thrilled with second place, and that I would be damned if any girl behind me closed the gap and passed me.

Fortunately, by the final half mile, I was pretty much running alone. I couldn’t hear anyone close behind me, and I was a good distance behind the male closest to me. I crossed the finish line feeling fantastic. I could have pushed harder had I been healthy, but with an injury it’s always best to air on the side of caution.

I waited at the finish line, and cheered both Ben and Chris on as they crossed the finish line at their respected times. Both looked strong, which in that humidity was no easy feat.

I made it to the podium, as the second-place female, running 6:38s, equaling a 20:53 total time for the 5K. Though I still have my eye on a sub-20 minute 5K, I was so happy that I ran a race feeling strong, and not limping along the way.

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~ by Elizabeth on July 25, 2011.

3 Responses to “FIAO 5K Race”

  1. […] It was also the smallest race I’ve run, with maybe 400 runners if I’m generous. Liz has a pretty good writeup on her blog, so I’d recommend you go there if you want a lot more detail. The official races that I have […]

  2. http://cmd.shutterfly.com/commands/pictures/slideshow?site=2011fiao5krun&page=2011fiao5krun&album=4

    Pictures from the event.

  3. […] It was also the smallest race I’ve run, with maybe 400 runners if I’m generous. Liz has a pretty good writeup on her blog, so I’d recommend you go there if you want a lot more detail. The official races that I have […]

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