Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Old Plank Trail 5k Race Recap

A little while ago I signed up for a local 5k the day before the marathon. I was taking my time while eating my breakfast and took this great photo:

When I showed up to pick up my packet, in downtown Frankfort, most of the people walking around were wearing the race shirts (and quite a few folks had their bib numbers on the back). The area where everyone was congregating was close to nice public bathrooms and a grassy area with plenty of space to stretch (including a decent amount of parking).

Due to the date in proximity of the marathon (and the fact that there was another 5k in the next town over at the same time), I thought I could escape with an age group award. As I haven't had the time to focus on speed work as much, I wasn't aiming for a PR. Instead, I was aiming to start slower and have my last mile be my fastest. This race was gun timed so I settled in close to the start line. (For a start line photo, checkout #22 on this photo stream. Don't want to post due to possible copyright issues.)

Of course, my Garmin went back to the home screen by the time the gun went off, so I started it a few seconds afterwards. The first mile I tried not to go out too quick as people were blazing by. My Garmin beeped at a pace of 7:30 for mile 1. I felt good and thought this was going well.

I tried to pick it up a bit for the second mile and passed some folks ahead of me. I know the trail we were on pretty well (it is the same trail we run on every Thursday) and there is a big bridge/hill along the way. Before reaching the 2 mile marker, the course shifted and I saw were were going to head up and down the big hill. Since this part of the course was "out and back," I was mentally preparing to do it again as soon as it was over. Mile 2 (including the first hill) was a 7:35 pace.

After mile 2, I didn't really pick it up. I knew the hill was ahead so I tried to keep it steady and save my energy. Once reaching the top of the hill, I kicked it into gear on the way down. I read somewhere that most people go uphill too fast and downhill too slow. I tried to reverse that and use the downhill portion to propel me forward finish strong! I saw a teenager ahead of me, I visualized that he was pulling me, and I focused on trying to pass him. I didn't pass him, but I'm happy with my finish as my last mile was 7:23... And I broke 23 for the 2nd time this year with a time of 22:59. (I'll take it.) Considering the 2 hills and my lack of speed work in recent weeks, I'm very happy with this time!

With the out and back course, I could see that there was only 1 female ahead of me... That means that I was the 2nd female to cross the finish line! I hung around for the awards ceremony in hopes of winning an age group award. While I was waiting, I munched on some of the post-race snacks including bananas, donut munchkins, bagels, and coffee. I gotta say that the thing I love most about local 5ks is the coffee they always have post-race! It was delicious and helped keep me warm while I was waiting. I did end up winning first in my age group and I'm very excited about it!
1st Place, Female 20-29

After I received my award and had a local spectator take this photo of me on the Old Plank Trail, I headed home to clean around the house and get ready for a full day of marathon spectating! I really enjoyed this race!

Nice long sleeved t-shirt
Cheap entrance fee ($15 if you preregistered)
Beautiful course (out on the trail)
Fantastic support from local police to make sure runners were safe
Well-marked course

The course with that hill, twice (I guess it makes for a challenge)
It would be nice if they had awards for 2nd place too instead of just 1st

Would I do this race again? Absolutely! I also highly recommend it to other runners! Although, if they changed the weekend of this race to not be so close to the marathon, I bet they would have a lot more folks enter.


  1. Congrats, speedy! Awesome AG placement! Good thing you did get first, since there was no #2! The shirt is cute! Sounds like a fun course too, minus that hill, like you said :)

  2. Way to pace yourself. Congrats on the speedy time and congrats on the first place age group award! Also, I like the price of that race: $15? That makes the $30+ 5ks seem way over-priced.

  3. Thanks so much! I was really happy with how things went and I just know with better training and a flatter course I could totally get my time down even lower! :)

  4. Thanks! I was amazed by the price. If a great 5k can be put on by only charging $15 if you pre-register (and $20 for day-of registration), you wonder how many 5ks are just making bank off of participants willing to pay $40-$55 for some! YIKES

  5. $15? Thats my kind of 5k. The after race spread sounds pretty amazing too - i LOVE post race coffee!

  6. Also, i think i already said congrats on facebook or daily mile, but CONGRATS AGAIN!! :)

  7. Great job, Kelly!!

  8. Thanks Amanda! Hope to see you at a race again soon!! :)

  9. That price was good. I am assuming it wasn't chip timed. I figure chip timing adds about $5 to the cost. Still I have done and scouted some 5Ks and have come to the conclusion that anything over $25 not chipped timed is a rip and anything over $30 that is chipped timed is a rip as well. I also had one that wanted to runners to eat the online sign up fee.

  10. It was, those donut munchkins brought me back to 5th grade birthdays at school... haha... Post-race coffee is totally a plus in my book! It hits the spot.

  11. It was gun-timed, not chip-timed. With mostly walkers, it did make sense for this race. I've seen online sign-up fees as high as $8. What are these fees for really? I'd like to know...

  12. Congratulations Kelly. 2nd place, while not exactly 1st, is incredible. And that's an awesome time. You getting really fast. Keep it up.

  13. Totally agree on the price, which is why I rarely do 5K's in Chicago. Plus the hassle of getting to a race in Chicago (and paying for parking or waiting around for the Metra) is not worth it when there are a zillion 5K's in the suburbs.

  14. Congrats! You are super speedy!

    That looks like a really nice trail.

  15. Irina @ Chocolatea TimeOctober 11, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    What a great race at a great price!! Races in Chicago are highly overpriced and I have yet to see a 5K that costs less than $30. Great job on your great finish!!

  16. Thanks! I think there are a few more permits (and more expensive permits) needed in the city so I can see the higher price, plus they knew people are going to pay it! If you have a car and can venture out to the suburbs, there really are some great races for a great price!

  17. Thanks! The trail is beautiful. They took video out on the course so I'll be sure to post it when it becomes available. :)

  18. Haha, yeah. I don't know if I'll ever be running 20:XX 5ks, but I'm happy with sub 23! Thanks!