Last weekend I ran my first race of 2017!
I won a pair of race entries for the Hackney 5.5K race, part of the Hackney Half Festival, around 8pm the evening before the 1:45pm afternoon race. I was pumped! It was a short distance (and a completely random one…why not 5K?) and I loved that I wouldn’t have to wake up early on a Sunday morning to make the hour-long trek to East London from my North London flat.
Because I only found out about it the night before, all my friends had Sunday plans, but one friend was able to connect me with Mabelle, an American girl she’d just met a few days before who had just arrived in London. It was kind of like a friend blind date – but it worked, and we had a blast!
Mabelle is house sitting in London for 6 months, and had barely gotten over her jet lag but was up for a fun 5.5K run. We had trouble getting our bibs, since they were from an Instagram giveaway and the volunteers had no idea , and we arrived at the starting line two minutes after the race started – in fact, I think we may have been the last ones to start.
We passed a lot of runners, and settled into an easy, comfortable pace. The course was great, with lots of bands and music. My IT-band injury has been improving a lot (I ran 3 miles on Saturday and was able to another 3 on Sunday – progress!) but I’m still not able to push the pace too much, or my leg starts to hurt, so we settled into a conversational pace and ran for fun.
We ended up finishing the 5.5K (which is 3.4 miles, although my Garmin said 3.24 miles) in 34:53, a comfortable 10:46 pace.
Take a look at that course, with all the out-and-backs…honestly, I’m not sure why they didn’t make the turnarounds a little shorter to make it a 5K!
The swag was pretty great for a short race – a hefty medal, fitted women’s tech shirt, and tote bag, plus food! There will also be free race photos, so I’ll add those to this post once they’re released.
If I were in racing shape, I don’t think I would have wanted to do a 5.5K race because I would much prefer to race all-out and aim for a new 5K PR.
But since I was just doing this one for fun, I loved that it was a random distance because it completely took the pressure away. And it was great to be able to participate in the Hackney Half Festival, without running the half marathon!
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