After a long overdue post, I am sharing with you the time that I had a Dead Last Finish. In my early days of running I signed up for a local 5K to give myself a goal. It was during my training for my first half marathon and timing-wise it fit right into where I should be.
I ran the Phoenixville 5k back in October 2008. It was only about 10 minutes away from home and they also ran a 10k that day. I wasn’t really nervous about it, my goal was just to get out there and get it done. The race was small and local. I guess I should say that was actually nervous.
Phoenixville is a town on a river with lots of hills. The 10k actually went down to river and back up the other side before returning to the finish line. The 5k stayed on the same side as the start/finish line, but that didn’t make the course any easier. There were still some decent rolling hills throughout the course. Maybe it wasn’t the wisest choice for a first race, but the timing was right.
I lined up near the start line. The race was so small that there were no corrals. When the gun went off, I started off at a comfortable pace with everyone. Of course people were passing me. I had been following the C25K plan inconsistently prior to the race but I didn’t continue to follow it during the race. I was a new runner so I thought I could handle it! Boy was I wrong. My Nike+ measured the first mile as my fastest mile to date. I quickly lost my speed after that first mile.
When I reached the turn around point, I knew I was the last runner. The other people were still in sight though. The volunteers at the water stop were really encouraging so I kept going. During the last mile I was exclusively walking the race. By the time I was in sight of the finish line most of the 10k runners were finished. The volunteers at the finish line were great and cheered me on.
I managed to finish strong and even finished in under 45 minutes. It was a surprise to me that I still met my goal for the race. (I’d like to note that on any given day I’m still not much faster than that in a 5k.) This race was definitely filled with fast runners. I’m not sure how far behind the rest of the group I was. At the end of the day, I was still satisfied with my race.