Sunday, March 24, 2013

We Run 5k Race Report

I don’t normally do race reports for 5k races, but this was a special one.  A few months ago I started running with 9-year-old girl, Kiersten.  We started out doing 2 mile runs and built up to almost 3 miles.  None of our runs have been during ideal running weather.  Most days were in the 20’s, and our only “warm” day was barely above freezing with rain.  Ugh!  So, today’s temps of 40 with little wind was as good as we have had it, yet still 10 degrees below average for this time of year.  Oh, the fun of living in Iowa!

During our runs we mostly did 10min/mile pace with some short intervals thrown in at 9min/mile.  I choose the interval pace based on her time last fall at this race.  We had hoped to run about twice per week, but due to very crappy weather and her busy 9-year-old social life, most weeks we were happy to get in one run. 

One of our many cold morning runs

I decided to do my weekend run workout prior to the race, and tack the race on to the end of it to extend the workout a little.  I was anticipating a nice 9min/mile cool down.  

Kiersten’s previous 5k PR was over 27minutes.  Her goal was sub-26 minutes.  Based on our runs together, I thought that may be a stretch. 

Last fall there were about 150 people that signed up for the inaugural race.  That number greatly increased to over 600 for today’s race.  We lined up near the start line.  I pulled her back a little, as I believe we would have been on the starting line if I had let her.  No need to get trampled over!

For the first mile there were several kids around us.  I was surprised they were able to hold that pace, but I believe some of them peeled off to do the 1 mile turn instead of continuing on the 5k option.  There was a guy yelling out times at the 1 mile mark, but I knew he was off.  There was no way we were going 7 min/mile pace.  I checked my watch and he was a minute off.  I was still shocked to see we were just under 8 minutes.  Definitely on track for a sub 26.

Shortly after this, the race rounds a pond where you can see who is where ahead of you.  We were slowly creeping up on another girl, and from what I could see, she was the only kid ahead of us.  For the next half mile we were a few steps behind.  A volunteer told the girl ahead of us that she was the first young girl he had seen.  Sweet!  We were in the hunt for first place.  Soon after was a water stop.  They both grabbed waters, but Kiersten was quicker with hers.  Then I was amazed as the other girl sprinted past to catch up with her dad.  Her gait was amazing.  Probably better than mine.  I commented to her dad that she had great form.  He said her sister is just as good.  

Our second mile was right at 8 min/mile pace.  Kiersten was pacing very well.  We were on about a half-mile, slight downhill straightaway.  It seems Kiersten thought this was a good chance to take the lead, but with each push the other girl pushed back and Kiersten dropped back.  After three or four tries, she settled back in.  I was partially relieved, as my legs were not the happiest with me at this point.  We continued running along just a few steps behind.  And then things turned bad.  Kiersten started to get side cramps.  Taking deep breaths was not helping, so we walked for about a minute and watched first place run away, and Kiersten’s sadness quickly set in.   I know that feeling all too well and it sucks.

Feeling better, we got back to a jog, turned the corner to the finish line, then she took off in a full-out sprint.  I tried, but couldn’t catch her.  Where did this burst of energy come from?!?!  Oh, to be young again! 

Out sprinted at the finish line

Our final times were 25:09 and 25:10.  Just under a 2 minute personal best for Kiersten and a second place finish in her age group (19 and under)!  

Awesome award for 2nd place!

I didn’t realize until today the competitiveness she has in her.  I knew it was somewhat there, but not to the extent it is.  Hopefully she uses it to continue running, as she is going to be one amazing athlete!  Well, she actually already is.  Now if I can get her swimming and biking she can rock the tri world, too!

Post race high 5 for a great race!


  1. Wow! Tears! Thank you so much Daniela! This weekend was such an awesome experience and I could not believe how Kiersten ended up finishing! Kiersten is sooo lucky and grateful to have you investing your time in her continued development as an athlete and talks about it ALL the time! She loves it! We both got teary eyed as we read this tonight, it was perfect! I am really looking forward to the rest of this season, Kierst definitely said she is interested in Tri's so that is the next thing we get to challenge her with! :) I can't thank you enough for how amazing it is been for Kiersten to have you as a mentor and additional supporter! You are the best! :)

  2. This was a great 5K write up and I am so glad you shared it!!! What am amazing racer you had with you today!! I am reading it to my 10 and 7 year old, hoping to get them racing this year!! I can you tell you Daniela they are both already swimmers, maybe you can train them in biking and running too for me:)!!!

  3. Kiersten motivates me as much as I motivate her. Works out well :)

    I love seeing young kids active! I'm excited to see more youth triathlons teams and races popping up in the area, and more kids at running race.