Race Report: 2009 Downtown Runaround 5 Mile

What you can't tell by this post-race pic is that my clothes are, literally,
completely soaking wet with sweat. I love humidity!

This was a race I not only hadn't planned on running, but didn't even know existed. It was happy coincidence that we were visiting the in-laws for a family reunion in Columbus, NE the weekend of the race. Upon arriving, my father-in-law excitedly asked my husband and I if we wanted to sign up, as that was the last day to do so. I am always up for a race, and somehow managed to talk my race-averse spouse into joining me...clickety-click and a credit card number later, we were all set to run the 5 mile race.

The course for this annual race traditionally starts and finishes in downtown Columbus, NE, and makes a trip over the only hill in town, the Viaduct bridge over the train tracks, along the way. However, the Viaduct has been shut for repair for about a year, so they had to alter the course for 2009. The result? A fabulous, flat, tree-lined and shady route around Pawnee Park and Wagner/Spires Lakes. Oh yes, this race had all the makings of a faster race pace for me: flat? Check. Shady? Check. Elevation below 5,000 feet? Checkedy-check.

Though well organized (Our race numbers were folded, 4 safety pins handily included, a sheet of race-day instructions, and a coupon for a free Big Mac placed inside of individually-marked envelopes at packet pickup. How considerate! Although the inclusion of the Big Mac belies the relative unimportance of healthy living in this community...) the race was a little more throwback old school and casual than what I'm used to in Colorado. There were no timing chips, it wasn't an officially measured course, the route was loosely monitored by volunteers, and I have yet to find the full results posted anywhere....but, it all went off without a hitch.

That's me over on the left side, midway back, in the hot pink.
I always wanted to be famous.

I started out at a pretty good pace (8:09) and was FINALLY able to maintain it consistenly all the way through the race (8:20, 8:23, 8:25, 7:54, :20). I just kept telling myself it was a tempo run and therefore I was not allowed to slow down, I had to stay consistent. The utter flatness allowed this to actually happen. While I did miss the requisite uphill-downhill I am used to at the CO races, it was fun to continually pass a lot of people on the 1-3 miles. Mile 3 I was pretty much running by myself and then started to catch some of the people in the next wave in front of me and pass again during Mile 4. There was one guy I had seen way up ahead the whole race (he was wearing a red shirt, as was my hubby, so I initially thought it was him--he naturally took off and left me from the start--and was trying to see if I could catch up) and I was finally closing in on him. I kicked out the last mile strong and sprinted the last .5...and he was toast. But, alas, I never did catch that shirtless guy.

Passing people is fun. Especially because I so rarely get to do it.

American Tights, you're history. Red Guy, I'm coming for you.

Hey, I warned you Red Guy. (he's there, behind me, in the background)

The official finish.

Final clock time: 41.42 PR yay!
Final garmin time: 41:38
"Official" race distance: 5.0 miles
garmin race distance: 5.1 miles

No idea how many finishers or where I placed--there was a 2-mile and 5-mile race and total count was 939 for both races--will update if they ever post it. One thing worth noting is that the winner of the 5-mile race finished it in just over 25 minutes. Which, sadly, is still faster than my fastest-ever 5k race time.


  1. Wow - check out the dour look on the guy in the USA shorts in the first picture. Looks like somebody got chicked!

  2. NIIIIICE! See, I told you to come out of the mountains and you'd kick butt.

    That race got almost 1000 people? Crazy! Love the outfit too. Perfect to spot yourself in pictures. :o)

  3. CONGRATS on the PR!

    But wait. You run a 41:38 5-miler, but haven't run a sub-25 5k?

    Sister that does not compute!

  4. @ gqh - thanks for pointing out the sad fact that my running/racing "does not compute" so right, my friend, so right. It is here that we find the crux of my frustrations...sigh

  5. Great race report! Ahh how I long for the days when I can return to low altitude and smoke some races!

  6. NICELY DONE! Congrats on a smokin' pace, girl :)

  7. yayyyy awesome job on the PR!!

  8. Belated congrats on the 5'er! Strong no matter how you calculate it.