I remember being at Cedar Point one year, when I realized that walking around the park was almost a 3 mile journey, thinking “It would be so cool to run a 5k at Cedar Point!” The next year, the Chris Smith Memorial 5k was started… a 5k race through Cedar Point. Since then, I have wanted to run this race. Over the years the event has evolved, and now includes a 10k and a half marathon. For many different reasons, each year I have not been able to do this race. But this year I was determined…. No matter what, I was running this 5k at Cedar Point!
Today was finally that day. The situation wasn’t ideal. I had to work the day we headed down, and just barely made it to pick up my packet (I didn’t really want to have to deal with picking up my packet the day of the race). By that time it was past 7pm and we hadn’t had dinner yet. So we headed to Cracker Barrel and I loaded up on carbs ;) Actually, I was pretty good – I got Chicken n Dumplins but chose broccoli and a cucumber onion tomato salad for my sides. My husband and I were both wound up and didn’t end up going to sleep until almost midnight… after both of us had also stayed up late the night before. So when the alarm went off at 5:30… whew… we were definitely not feeling it!
We got in a little breakfast then headed to the park. The race was set to start at 7:45am. The skies were threatening rain. It was humid, but cool. Just about 30 seconds before the start, it started to rain a little, but it didn’t last long. At 7:45am, we were off! I started the race in a 4 minute run, and ran that first 4 minutes at a 12 minute pace. My first walk was almost a 15 minute pace, and when the next 4 minute run came around, I just kicked it into high gear. I don’t know that it was… the excitement of FINALLY doing this race, or the fact that lately I have been training smarter, or the fact that I have lost a little weight… probably all of the above. As I hit 10 minutes, my average pace dropped from 12:30 to 12:00. Woo hoo, I thought! At the next 5 minute interval, my app announced that I had dropped my pace below 12:00 minute miles. Then I thought… dang, okay, keep it up Megan! Every walking interval I snapped a picture of where I was at.
By the time I got to the walking interval that passed Millennium Force, I was rockin’ an 11:30 mile pace. The next time I started running, I decided I was not going to stop… I had less than a 1/2 mile to the finish. So I powered on through! When I reached the finish line, the clock read 37:09. Of course, I started in the back of the pack, thinking I would be finishing at a slower pace. But still… 37:09?? Haven’t seen a number like that in a LONG TIME. When I checked my phone at the finish, it showed that I had run a little over 3.2 miles, so a longer 5k. Unfortunately I forgot to STOP my phone right at the finish, ugh! so I don’t really have an accurate result. HOWEVER… based on my total time for 3 miles on my phone, and based on my official chip time divided into 3.2 miles instead of 3.1, my pace was about 11:22/mile. Since it is not technically official… I can’t count it… but that, my friends, is a PR!!
BUT… since I can’t officially count it… here’s where it stands in relation to my other best races…
- Race 4 a Reason (October 26, 2008) 35:22, 11:23 min/mile pace
- Cedar Point Millennium Force 5k (June 13, 2015) 36:23, 11:43 min/mile pace
- Miles for Medals (October 12, 2008) 36:20, 11:45 min/mile pace
Whatever way you slice it… I rocked that race today! And I got to spend the day in one of my favorite places in the world with my husband. Seriously… doesn’t get better than this!