On the heels of spring, I have completed the Tenth Annual Anthem 5k Fitness Classic. Proceeds are donated to the Crusade for Children and the overall event purpose is to inspire healthy lifestyles.
I was nervous about this race because I checked the results from previous years and saw that athletes come from all over to stride across that finish line. My 7 minute mile record was nothing compared to NCAA Div 1 athletes who continue to do what they love. With that in mind, I made two goals:
#1 Beat my PR of 22:01
#2 Place in the top 10 of my age division
I was elated to have my parents accompany me to this event. My Dad has not seen me run since childhood years. Let me tell you a little about this guy. My Grandma has told many stories about how he used to run down in the fields and gardens in WV. He was MVP of the Varsity Basketball Team at Scott High in Madison, WV and was the first Black to do so. There has been one African-American since his time to earn that honor. While in the Army, my Dad was the fastest runner in the field with a time of 4:57 in a mile with combat boots. His tall, 6’2″ frame supported a lean weight of 155. This is who was watching and supporting me. He and my Mom were there. The pressure is on!
The weather was a crisp 35-38 degrees. The sun was shining and that’s all I needed. I decided to wear the new Danskin collection neon pink and black short and reversible tank set. I heard a lady say “she’s got to be cold.” The temperature was the least of my worries. I was more concerned about how my start would go because I’ve heard about how crowded this race can get. The rumors were correct! It took me 2:20 to reach the starting line after the horn went off. For the first half to 3/4 of the first mile I was weaving in and out of people. One guy yelled “this sucks!” I had to agree with him but I didn’t let the comment linger in my thoughts. I needed positive vibes to beat my record.
Mile marker 1. Watch check. 7 minute mile. Cool. I’m on track. Between miles 2 and 3 I wanted to kick it up and felt little surges thanks to my 5:30 am spin class. I wanted to save some juice. Afterall, I have Phil and Alice expecting to see a sprint finish. At this point my meditation comes in and I take in sights and sounds. I saw several shirts that said “Training Runners to become Leaders.” I took a moment to appreciate the varied age groups of the participants. These thoughts were during a slight incline so the thoughts keep my legs going and lungs breathing. I checked my watch and I was about 8 minutes on the 2nd mile. Maybe I was meditating too much and lost my pace.
Miles 2-3 snaked through Butchertown. I did not like the smell. This woman was running with I assume was her daughter and she made a comment about the smell being gross. She read my mind. I pushed it from Story Ave to Main Street. Thank God! The end is near. I could not see the finish line. I made the mistake of running on the right side of the street and I won’t do that again because the grade was slanted and it felt off balance. The blister on my left foot from running like a maniac on the treadmill on Wednesday wasn’t liking it either. Oh well. It’s almost over. I see the finish line with the clock. I finished strong.
Cool part about this race was the use of Xact Event Alerts. Race started at 8am. By 8:26, I received an email stating:
Kelsie Smoot at the Finish in 22:44.
Pace 7:19 min/mile
Time of arrival 8:24:25
How awesome is that! I was thankful for the results although I did not break my PR, this is my 2nd best with 100% effort. My time was good enough to land me in the #8 place in my division of 677, Women’s rank of 79/4482 and overall 517/7800 participants.
Video link of my finish:
I have two suggestions for future races. #1 Make sure the Porta Potties are stocked with toilette tissue. #2 Organize a starting corral so participants can line up according to their mile time. That was not fair nor safe for me and others to have to dip and dodge slow poke walkers who were supposed to line up on Whiterspoon and start after the runners.
In the end it was all worth it. It was nice to see Karen and her sign holding roommate before the race. I see she finished 3 seconds ahead of me. Great job! That goes to show how many people were in this race. I didn’t even see her during that last kick. I must get her roommate to give my Mom lessons on Finish line photo taking.
My Mom managed to snap these:
Later in the afternoon I did some volunteer work at the Ronald McDonald House on 550 First Street with members of my church. Two connections tied into my morning race. The first was seeing a plaque about proceeds from Crusade For Children Foundation. It was nice to see the fruits of those donations. The second full circle moment was meeting a volunteer who runs and is connected to someone trying to start a chapter of Black Girls Run! in the Louisville area. I discovered this group earlier this week and I would be thrilled to help form a group in KY!
Taking life to the next level while staying grounded.