It’s been a looooong time since I have done a 5k. I usually am turned off by the idea because it seems like a lot of ‘do’ for not a whole lot of mileage. But, as my training has wound down from the Marathon last year, I have been more forgiving with myself. “A run is a run” mentality has crept in and I find myself seeing the appeal of these shorter runs where I can actually push the pace because it is not that long of a way to go. So prejudices aside, I suited up in my shorts (gasp!) and white tech tee and set sail for Tualatin, a place I have never really run in.
I was excited to try out the Crawfish Crawl 5k at Tualatin Park and see what it was all about. Upon arriving I was excited about the free parking at Haagen’s in Tualatin. There was a short walk to the park, but that was just fine by me and gave me some time to just zone out. Upon arriving to the park, I could tell that this was a smaller race trying to go big and it was kind of cool to see. Ford Motors had a big stagecoach set-up and a t-shirt making station. Many booths with delicious food and brews were strewn about the park with some live music going.
Prior to the race, the emails that the Better Series put out were really concise, helpful, and well-timed – all the info I need without all the fluff! I checked in to the welcome booth, grabbed my bib, and checked my bag. It was really easy and simple and the volunteers here were great. It seemed well-oiled which was a nice surprise, I have learned to not expect “well-oiled” anything when running. We are a nutty bunch.
I arrived about an hour before the start, which was mostly unnecessary and had nothing really to do but people watch. As it got hotter and hotter I started to wonder if this late start (10:50 a.m. for the 5k) was a good idea. I thought it was a peculiar choice and heard others in the crowds wondering that same thing.
Finally, we lined up and got going. In the beginning I found space on the trail to be an issue. Looked like we didn’t line up in waves very properly as the first quarter mile was spent just trying to get around those who were opting to walk. Note to myself to get a little bit more up there.
I really enjoyed the paved trail otherwise and felt like I could clip along at a good race pace for myself. Then the grievances started happening. There were two women that were running sort of at my pace. I would run ahead of them, they would catch up, they would then get about four feet in front of me and stop to walk, directly in front of me. Race foul, I cry!!! I was frustrated by this, but chose to just keep it steady at my pace, knowing that in the end I would probably be passing some folks that went too fast, too soon. I like to save some for that final kick, it’s good for my self-esteem.
Made it to the turnaround (wow that felt quick!) and started back and kept rubbernecking with my fellow racers. As I thought it would be I definitely finally passed up the stragglers and coasted into the finish. Only stopping to walk once and definitely feeling like I might toss some cookies. It was HOTTTTTTTT.
I got a super cute medal that was simple and great, a little crawfish. And a great beer, so many awesome beers were on tap that it was hard to choose what to use my complimentary tear-off strip for. I was a little miffed to learn that the pancake breakfast was all out by the time I finished the 5k, but felt even worse for those doing the half and 10k that I had heard were greeted by some pretty hilly hills and no post-race food. So not as flat and fast as we were previously told. Also, Nike+ had a little heart to heart with me and told me that it was not a 5k, but a three-miler barely (sad!), which I heard echoed in the last Better Series event, Red, White, and Blues 5k/10k, RunOregon review. Last gripe, I promise, but I have searched for results and still not found them anywhere or seen messaging about this. If anyone knows where they’re at, holler at me!
The bottom line is this: there is some work to be done in tightening this event up and justifying the price-tag for race goers. It was a pleasant race, with great volunteers and good organization and I love the perk of having access to the Tualatin Crawfish Festival. I am excited to see what is tweaked for next year. As always, live and learn!
Edit: Thanks Adam for sharing the results!
5k results: http://www.racecenter.com/results/2014/res_c914.htm
10k results: http://www.racecenter.com/results/2014/res_c814.htm
HM results: http://www.racecenter.com/results/2014/res_c714.htm